Create the Future. Today

Projected pedestrians are traffic stoppers


South-Korean product designer Hanyoung Lee has come up with a safety device that could make traffic lights obsolete, or at least improve their effectiveness. His so-called Virtual Wall is designed for busy city streets. Instead of showing a red light when it’s time for pedestrians to cross the street, Lee’s Wall projects a curtain-like, two-dimensional image of giant people crossing the street. The real pedestrians walk behind their virtual counterparts. Lee’s design—which hasn’t made it off the drawing board yet—works thanks to a stack of laser projectors installed in poles on opposites sides of the street. Digital renderings of the Wall can be found on Yanko Design, and while there’s no word on an actual prototype, the device would likely cost more than traditional traffic lights. Thus, any city thinking of commissioning a Virtual Wall might consider flashing advertising messages over the heads of the virtual pedestrians in order to help offset the system’s cost. Another potential issue might be how to activate the Wall so as not to startle motorists approaching an intersection. We generally don’t feature concepts that haven’t yet made it to market, but this one seems to present a host of business opportunities, as well as great PR potential for the first cities that implement it. Besides halting traffic at intersections, the projected images could be used to direct crowds at large events or form temporary virtual fences to warn motorists that road construction crews are working nearby. And how about smart deer crossing walls, that can both detect and project oncoming deer? Spotted by: Harry van Praag



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