Nowadays, people stare at their phones way too much. But one of the most annoying and most dangerous things is looking at your phone while driving or walking down the streets. But hey, don’t worry, you don’t have to lift your head up from those TikTok videos. You can now have a third eye that will be aware of your surroundings for you!
South Korean industrial designer Minwook Paeng invented this “third eye” for every “Phono Sapiens” out there who is too busy watching TikTok videos to be aware of the world around them. But before you get annoyed like I initially did, I must note that this invention is ironic and critical of today’s phone-addicted society.
So, how does it work? It’s equipped with a sensor so it can detect the obstacles in front of you. Since it’s “an eye,” it has an eyelid, naturally. When you look down at your phone, the eyelid opens and observes the space ahead of you so you don’t have to. When it senses an obstacle, it notifies you with a buzz so you can lift your head. And when you do, the eyelid automatically closes.
“Phono Sapiens is a new human species born from Smartphones,” Minwook writes on Instagram.
“Smartphones have deeply permeated into modern people’s lives, which made it difficult for us to live without them. This is perceived negatively, but the evolution to Phono Sapiens of mankind is undeniably a reality. So I accepted the fact that the human body is controlled by smartphones as a positive change. This gives us a broad perspective on the unfinished Phono sapiens. It also allows us to predict and propose fully evolved generation of Phono Sapiens.”
Minwook sees the third eye as the first evolutionary trait of Phono Sapiens. “We can’t take our eyes off of our smartphones while walking,” he writes. “That’s why we evolved to have a third eye.”
As I mentioned, Minwook’s idea isn’t to encourage people to keep staring at their phones like zombies. It’s quite the opposite, actually. “This project is not just a common product design, but more of an ironic or critical design,” he writes. “Through ‘The Third Eye’, I hope people can criticize our behaviors and rethink about ourselves evolving to Phono Sapiens than resolve the problems we encounter in the present.”
Reading about invention made me think how much I stare at my phone. I never text while walking, driving, or cycling, and it drives me nuts when people do it because I think it’s reckless. But still, I use my phone way more than I like to admit. And I like to believe that this project was made precisely to make us think how addicted we are to our devices, and maybe make us use them a little less. At least while in the street.
[via Laughing Squid]