South Korean industrial designer Paeng Min-wook showcases a robotic eye, called "The Third Eye", on his forehead as he uses his mobile phone while walking on street, in Seoul. Photo: REUTERS
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S Korean designer creates 'Third Eye' for 'smartphone zombies'

15 Comments
By Minwoo Park

A South Korean industrial designer has come up with a satirical solution for "smartphone zombies" who can't take their eyes away from their screen long enough to stop themselves walking into a wall or other obstacle.

Paeng Min-wook, 28, has developed a robotic eyeball he has dubbed "The Third Eye", which obsessive mobile phone users can strap to their foreheads so they can browse injury-free on the go.

The device opens its translucent eyelid whenever it senses the user's head has been lowered to look at a smartphone. When the user comes within one to two meters of an obstacle, the device beeps to warn of the impending danger.

"This is the look of future mankind with three eyes," Paeng, a postgraduate in innovation design engineering at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, told Reuters as he demonstrated use of The Third Eye around Seoul. "As we cannot take our eyes off from smartphones, the extra eye will be needed in future."

Paeng's invention uses a gyro sensor to measure the oblique angle of the user's neck and an ultrasonic sensor to calculate the distance between the robotic eye and any obstacles. Both sensors are linked to an open-source single-board microcontroller, with battery pack.

Paeng's demonstration of the device in Seoul garnered attention from passersby.

"I thought he looked like an alien with an eye on his forehead," Seoul resident Lee Ok-jo said. "These days many young people can get into accidents while using their mobile phone. This would be good for them."

Paeng said The Third Eye was meant as a warning, not a real solution for smartphone addicts who won't pay attention to where they are going.

“By presenting this satirical solution, I hope people would recognize the severity of their gadget addiction and look back at themselves,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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There should be a rule that prohibits walking and holding a phone. Just like driving rules.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

There should be a rule that prohibits walking and holding a phone. Just like driving rules.

I'm against such a rule, but people should be responsible for any damage the cause.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Where's the Police version with flashing lights and siren?...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sad.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Hahaha! Well done Paeng

@ Reckless...did you miss the last paragraph?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There should be a rule that prohibits walking and holding a phone. Just like driving rules.

Interestingly, as far as i recall for alot of streets in Seoul it is, they have markings on the ground "no phone and walking" as the no smoking signs here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agree Fuji. Lots of people walking around, lost in their virtual world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Might as well tag "loser" on your head while you're at it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

this inventor is an idiot! who ever buys this is moronic invention is more idiot than he is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Cath A Bautista

How about taking the time to read the article before commenting?

"Paeng said The Third Eye was meant as a warning, not a real solution for smartphone addicts who won't pay attention to where they are going.

“By presenting this satirical solution, I hope people would recognize the severity of their gadget addiction and look back at themselves,” he said."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Um, two eyes - one for phone one for physical environment- should be all that are required

I suppose ‘man is not a chameleon’.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am bumping into these Keitai zombies all day.

And if they aren’t looking at it, they’ve perpetually holding it in their hands - pathetic really.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A South Korean industrial designer has come up with a satirical solution for "smartphone zombies"

Not really satirical. We really need to give this to all these smartphone zombies here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This "designer" tacked on the satirical claim to try to silence any critics who - understandably - take what he said seriously:

"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."

So he's hoping that he is taken seriously and can make money off of this answer to a question nobody asked, but at the same time he's trying to deflect any obvious criticism for encouraging mobile phone use when walking, or even worse, riding a bicycle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Makes me think of the band "Third Eye Blind".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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