An industrial design student has created a high-tech third eye that can be affixed to a person’s forehead and look out for obstacles as they walk, while their real eyes are glued to their smartphone.
There’s no denying that smartphones have become an integral part of modern life. Most of us spend hours every day staring at our handhelds, and some even do it as we walk or drive. You’ve probably seen funny clips of people falling into water fountains or holes because they were looking at their phones, or maybe you’ve actually experienced something similar. Well, thanks to Minwook Paeng’s Third Eye, you’ll be able to text or browse Instagram as you walk, without fear of accidents.
Paeng’s Third eye consists of a translucent plastic case that is fixed directly to the wearer’s forehead with a thin gel pad. Inside this plastic eye are a small speaker, a gyroscopic sensor and a sonar sensor. When the gyroscope detects when the user’s head is angled down, it opens the eye’s plastic eyelid and the sonar starts to monitor the area in front of the user. When it detects an obstacle, it warns the wearer via the connected speaker.
"The black component that looks like a pupil is an ultrasonic sensor for sensing distance,” the designer said. “When an obstacle is in front of the user, the ultrasonic sensor detects this and informs the user via a connected buzzer.”
Paeng told Dezeen that his Third Eye is the first project that tries to imagine what the future generations of “phono sapiens” may end up looking like. Phones are already changing our bodies, and they’ve only been around for a couple of decades, so imagine what they can do in a few generations.
"By using smartphones in a bad posture, our neck vertebrae are leaning forward giving us ‘turtle neck syndrome’ and the pinkies we rest our phones on are bending along the way,” Paeng said. “When a few generations go by, these small changes from smartphone usage will accumulate and create a completely different, new form of mankind.”