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Robotic third eye

The device is developed by South Korean industrial design student Minwook Paeng. (Source: Instagram / minwookpaeng)

How ‘Third eye’ may help smartphone addicts walk freely

Yes, you read it right. Are you one of those phono sapiens? Those who can’t take their eyes off the smartphone even while walking? So this robotic third eye is exactly for you. South Korean industrial design student Minwook Paeng has developed it only for you. All that you have to do is to fix it to your forehead before heading out on the street and be mindful of the warning beep when an obstacle comes close. Because it’s been created to protect from hitting the obstacles while you are glued to your phone while walking.

Now, you want to know how does it work. Right? Minwook Paeng explains it on his instagram page in this way, ‘The third eye is its first evolution. We can’t take our eyes off of our smartphones while walking. That’s why we evolved to have a third eye. This eye moves separately from the rest of the eyes and it opens when our previous eyes are looking at smartphone.’

Source: Instagram / minwookpaeng

This means the robotic third eye becomes active the moment you start looking downwards at your phone and it begins watching out for the hurdles coming your way. That keeps you safe. Protected from an accident and injuries.

Speaking to Dezeen in May, Minwook Paeng reveals the details of the robotic prosthetic which is made of a translucent plastic body that can be attached to the forehead of the user with the help of a thin gel pad.

The device has is equipped with a gyroscope which keeps a tab on the user’s head movement. When the head tilts down, the gyroscope opens the plastic eyelid of the device to unlock a sonar sensor.

“The black component that looks like a pupil is an ultrasonic sensor for sensing distance,” the designer tells Dezeen. “When an obstacle is in front of the user, the ultrasonic sensor detects this and informs the user via a connected buzzer.”

Minwook Paeng has developed the device as a part of his Innovation Design Engineering degree at London’s Royal College of Art and Imperial College.

On his instagram page, Paeng writes, ‘This project is not just a common product design, but more of an ironic or critical design. 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.’

Paeng defines the term phono sapiens as a new human species born from Smartphones.

He further says, “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.

“I hope that the act of ironically pointing out what we are doing with our smartphones can help people to take time for self-reflection,” Paeng tells Dezeen.

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