Walk, Text, Pray

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This is a computer simulation of 1,500 people walking through the busy Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo while looking at smartphones.

So… Japanese!  Androids playing Chekhovian heroines on stage  or lovelorn self-unsnapping bras with mind of their own and now this. All for the sake of public safety, so that more people could stay out of harms way and enjoy androids in theaters and software equipped underwear.

The staircase at Shinjuku Station is bright yellow with text in plain Japanese:

It reads, "Walking while using a smartphone is dangerous." P  Under the warning, in parenthesis, it reads, "But those people probably didn't see this announcement."

“Walking while using a smartphone is dangerous.”  Under the warning, in parenthesis,”But those people probably didn’t see this announcement.”

The aim was to develop a notion that to walk totally engrossed into a smartphone is bad behavior, almost as unacceptable as smoking.

 Below, the text reads, "Even if you don't notice this poster, we want you to notice everyone's icy stares."   It reads, "Walking while using a smartphone is dangerous." P Under the warning, in parenthesis, it reads, "But those people probably didn't see this announcement."

The text reads, “Even if you don’t notice this poster, we want you to notice everyone’s icy stares.”  Under the warning, in parenthesis, “But those people probably didn’t see this announcement.”

Geez! Who would look away from the phone long enough to see the warning on the stairs!

Thus the next step in fending off the danger of texting-browsing-talking while walking needed to be digitized. The simulation was created by mobile carrier Docomo in collaboration with Aichi University of Technology.

As simulation clearly shows, there are many unpleasant accidents can happen to 1,500 Japanese at Shibuya Crossing. Very effective, actually. It can be viewed… while walking.

Of course, the problem is not unique to Japan, nor is the concern over it. Video can be just as effective, although less technologically advanced. And it, too, can be viewed on a smartphone, on the move.

Unglue your eyes from your smartphones while walking!  But then again, as someone commented, “Since we topped the food chain, the planet needs a way to trim back the stupid… mobile phones are natures new separator!”   

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