A South Korean industrial designer has come up with a magnificent solution for “smartphone zombies” who can’t take their eyes off from their screen long enough to stop themselves from walking into a wall or stumbling on obstacles. 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 tends to be lowered to look at a smartphone. When the user comes within one to two metres of any kind of 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 the use of The Third Eye around Seoul. Adding further, “As we cannot take our eyes off from smartphones, the extra eye will be needed in future.”
His 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 a battery pack. Paeng’s demonstration of the device in Seoul this week has clutched many garnered attention from passersby.
At first, everyone in his neighbourhood assumed he looks 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, said by Paegn.