Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Walk, chew gum and fall over

So many Japanese are falling off rail platforms or bumping into things while staring at smartphones that it's sparked safety campaigns, it seems.
The trend has even acquired a name "Aruki Sumaho" - or smartphone walking - and has reached such levels that phone companies have reportedly joined forces with railway operators and the government to tackle the problem. Japan's largest mobile network NTT Docomo erected a sign on a staircase at one of Tokyo's main stations, Shinjuku, which reads: "Walking while using a smartphone is dangerous... But those people probably didn't see this announcement." According to the Mainichi Daily News, the latest yearly figures show 18 people fell off platforms while using phones, while 60% of people who took part in a survey said they'd been walked into by somebody using a smartphone.
Why do they call it a smart phone, then?


  1. I expect Japanese smartphones to have applications for walking. Almost everyone there has a smartphone, so they can locate each other. A user would see an arrow pop up, and he would step sharply right, left, or stop for a second. Traffic management by smartphone. It could be more efficient than not using a phone.

    Transmitters at train stations platform edges could give the same warnings.

    A bad thought. Hacking that system would be fun.

  2. Right, they have cars that park themselves, why not people.