Responding to the increasing number of pedestrians in Luxembourg who are stuck to their smartphones and enter crosswalks without looking up, a local man has created an app that provides a warning when the distracted user is about to be crushed by an approaching vehicle.
Developer Boris Glavak says the LuxSafe app will allow the most tech-addicted walkers to continue sending WhatsApp messages, searching for new jobs on LinkedIn, and commenting on what friends cooked last night — without the nuisance of having to check for traffic before crossing a street.
If the app senses a vehicle is approaching, it will sound an alarm and send a mobile alert that will override the smartphone’s other functions, while at the same time calculating the time remaining before a collision occurs.
“The idea for this app came to me last year when I was reading a fascinating article about the distractions of modern life,” he said. “All of the sudden, my tranquility was shattered by a terrible, loud honking, which turned out to be the driver of huge car that almost flattened me as I was making my way to the other side of a crosswalk.”
Glavak says he was lucky that the reckless madman was able to stop in time, and it made Glavak aware of the need to protect innocent walkers who merely want to catch up on world news between getting off the bus and stepping into the office.
Although Glavak won’t divulge all of the secrets as to how his app works, he says it uses a combination of data gathered from satellite triangulation, motion detection, and audio cues such as the rumbling of engines and the sound of squealing brakes.
Glavak admits that his app is a temporary fix. In an ideal world, he says, there would be no cars, buses, or trucks, and pedestrians would be free to watch long movies on their mobile devices, completely uninterrupted while strolling through the city. In the meantime, however, the app will offer some measure of protection.
“For too long, people who simply want scroll through hundreds of Kylie Jenner’s Instagram beach photos while walking alongside and across busy avenues have been put in danger by Luxembourg’s drivers, who literally act as if the streets were made for them,” he said.
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