The advent of smartphones has led to a lot of technological advances and new uses for technology. Thanks to the popularity of smartphones, the computing and tech worlds have exploded and trends like virtual reality are taking consumers by storm. Unfortunately, smartphones haven't been without their issues. One of the bigger issues with them is that people tend to bury themselves in them, leading to awkward social gatherings, car accidents and a lot of cracked screens from people tripping over things walking because their eyes are on a screen, rather than the turf. While some parts of the United States are looking to illegalize the use of a mobile device while walking, the city of Augsburger in Germany is taking a different approach.
In the wake of a 15 year old girl being killed by a train that she didn't see coming because she was too busy with her phone, the city has decided to help smartphone addicts instead of punishing them. As pictured above, lights that show the status of an intersection are being embedded into the streets of Augsburger. The way they work is quite simple, even more so than a normal crossing light; when the lights are on, it's unsafe to cross. It's a simple system indeed, and should be quite effective. When your concentration is on a smartphone screen, most details on the street don't truly register, glossed over as a normal part of what you see as you walk. Light sources, however, will stick out a bit more, allowing users to pick them up in their peripheral vision.
While this solution may not stop mobile users who are mobile themselves from antics like crashing into other people, dropping their phones or walking face-first into street lights, it will curb, if not outright buck, the trend of smartphone users being hit by cars and trains or having near-misses, saving a good number of lives in the process by mirroring the attitude of the Chinese, who have begun to lay down a separate sidewalk for those whose travels on foot are accompanied by a smartphone.