A 100 foot-stretch of sidewalk in the city of Chongqing claims to be the first street for mobile phone addicts in China. People with eyes fixed on their screens have their own specially painted lane.
Mobile phone users follow white arrows painted on one side of the sidewalk. No need to lift heads from the glued gaze at devices; the arrows direct underfoot. Could the idea (and the very spray-painted stencils) have been copied almost exactly from a program on the National Geographic channel earlier this year?
Mobile phone addiction is rampant in China, as it is worldwide. One recent survey by zhaopin.com, a recruitment site, suggested that 80 per cent of the 10,000 white collar workers it polled admitted “severe addiction” to their phones.
‘WalkNText’ – iPhone/Android App
Product Description (from its producer):
“Smart walk and text gives you the advantage of texting while you are walking. Through transparent screen you can see what is ahead of you and you can avoid stumbling and falling. In this application, you can send SMS and receive SMS .The whole application works is transparent, so you can use this application while you are walking.”
Product Review (from a fan):
“Now you can finally become the master of your own domain and confidently walk and text (simultaneously) whenever, wherever you want… It’s perfect for people like me who trip over their own two feet on a regular basis. ….If you don’t want to eat the concrete while you are walking… get the WalkNText app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Android smartphone.
I’ve compared this app to similar ones, and it’s the best one of its kind for many reasons. First of all, it has a transparent keyboard which allows for a much larger viewing space (if you don’t want the transparent keyboard, with one click, you can switch back to the built in keyboard). So whatever your style is; you can truly type and walk without being nervous at all.”
A young man talking on a cellphone meanders along the edge of a lonely train platform at night. Suddenly he stumbles, loses his balance and pitches over the side, landing head first on the tracks. Fortunately, no trains were approaching that Philadelphia-area station at that moment. The man recovered his balance and climbed out of danger. Security cameras captured the whole incident and the images were sent to The Associated Press. The risks of distracted walking are getting everyone’s attention.
Hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treat an increasing number of injured pedestrians. The cases include:
- a 24-year-old woman who walked into a telephone pole while texting
- a 28-year-old man who was walking along a road when he fell into a ditch while talking on a cellphone
- a 12-year-old boy who was looking at a video game when he was clipped by a pickup truck as he crossed the street
- a 53-year-old woman who fell off a curb while texting and lacerated her face
- a 67-year-old man walking along the side of a road was hit a by a bicyclist who was talking on a cellphone as he rode