For Architectural Digest, by Nick Mafi.
It’s obvious that smartphone usage is on the rise. In fact, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, roughly two-thirds of Americans, Canadians, and Israelis own a smartphone. More substantial is the almost 90 percent of South Koreans who own one. What this means — other than the fact that many more people are constantly plugged into the Internet, email, and Instagram — is that vast portions of the population are walking around distracted by their phones. The trend is an obvious hazard for drivers and pedestrians alike, as traffic lights are at times not seen, and thus ignored.
“The trend is an obvious hazard for drivers and pedestrians alike, as traffic lights are at times not seen, and thus ignored.”
That’s why Bodegraven — a town in northwest Netherlands, roughly between Amsterdam and The Hague — has recently installed LED light strips on their sidewalks that synchronize with traffic signals. The lights turn red or green at crossings so pedestrians will know to stop walking, even if their eyes are glued to their screens.
The technology was rolled out by HIG Traffic Systems, a local company that’s based in Bodegraven. To date, HIG has only completed the LED light strips at one intersection in the town’s square. However, beyond just expanding in Bodegraven, HIG hopes to expand its concept to other larger cities throughout Holland and Europe.
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