WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Smartphone users whose eyes are constantly glued to the screen may soon need a “third eye” to help them avoid obstacles.
- Such a device was created by South Korean industrial designer Paeng Min-wook to point out its absurdity.
- The robotic eye, worn on the forehead, opens its eyelid when the user looks down on their phone, then beeps to signal a nearby obstacle.
To point out the absurdity of being glued to a smartphone screen even while walking, South Korean industrial designer Paeng Min-wook created a satirical solution: a strap-on robotic eye called “The Third Eye.”
Paeng told Reuters, “This is the look of future mankind with three eyes. As we cannot take our eyes off from smartphones, the extra eye will be needed in future.”
Paeng, 28, is a postgraduate in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College. He created the device as part of an artwork he called “Phono Sapiens,” which calls out people’s addiction to their smartphones.
The robotic eye automatically opens its eyelid when it detects that its user has lowered their head to look at their smartphone. It then beeps to warn the user of an obstacle within one to two meters ahead.
The device has a gyro sensor to measure the oblique angle of the user’s neck and an ultrasonic sensor to calculate the distance from any obstacle. These sensors are connected to an open-source single-board microcontroller that uses a battery pack.
When Paeng demonstrated the device in Seoul, the eye turned a lot of heads.
One Seoul resident named Lee Ok-jo said, “I thought he looked like an alien with an eye on his forehead. These days many young people can get into accidents while using their mobile phone. This would be good for them.”
Paeng plans for further development, such as a camera module and a linked mobile phone app. However, he does not plan on selling it.
He may reconsider that stance soon, though. Despite making the device as a form of satire on smartphone addicts, it may have a potentially high demand.
Shin Jae-ik, 23, called the device “cool and interesting.”
They added, “We can easily bump into each other on street while using smartphones. I may not need it now, but I’d like to buy it when they sell it later.”
Source: New York Post