With so many people having their eyes glued to their phones and walking around, more often than not they will bump into someone else, or worse, walk into oncoming traffic without realizing it. Unfortunately so far apart from trying to educate people about the dangers of walking and texting, there really isn’t much else we can do, or is there?

Australian design firm Büro North has come up with a clever idea of placing traffic lights on the ground. Dubbed the Smart Tactile Paving system, this will allow people to walk and notice that they should probably be stopping at the pedestrian crossing while it is flashing red. If it lights up green, then it means that it is safe to cross, or at least as safe as it can be, reckless drivers notwithstanding.

The idea came to firm after they saw the explosive popularity of Pokemon GO. According to the design firm’s director Soren Luckins, “When the Pokémon craze hit Melbourne, the number of people wandering across the road looking at their phones was pretty startling. That’s when we realised we had redundant infrastructure that had not adapted or evolved to keep up with human behavioural changes.”

Now unfortunately the Smart Tactile Paving system exists merely as a concept, but it is a clever idea and even without Pokemon GO, it would still be pretty useful. It is unclear if the idea will ever be implemented for real, but it does look promising.

Filed in Concepts. Read more about safety.

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