LED Crossings The Future For ‘Smartphone Addicts’?

While we might be used to seeing bespoke LED displays in shop windows or as billboards, one place we don’t expect to see them is on the floor - but all this could be about to change according to The Memo.

Tasked with finding a new age solution for the ‘positively Victorian’ nature of crossing the road, design agency Umbrellium teamed up with Direct Line to come up with this possibly ingenious idea.

Instead of painted markings and flashing lights, they’ve come up with a 22 metre Led display surface that creates a zebra crossing on the ground. The idea is that the road markings can use smart cameras to adapt as necessary to what’s happening around it.

Say for example, a large group of pedestrians are trying to cross the road - instead of piling them deep on a narrow pavement, the crossing could stretch to make room for more to cross, asking cars to stop earlier. For events or during school drop off, this could make our roads much more accessible for pedestrians.

Usman Haque, founding partner of Umbrellium, says that while this is still a concept, road crossings do need to come up to speed with modern day technology: “Pedestrian crossings as we know them were made for a different age, when the human relationship with the city was completely different,” he says.

However, they’re not the first to come up with the idea of putting lights on the floor at crossings. Bodegraven in the Netherlands has been testing light strips for crossing in the floors, in aims to help ‘smartphone zombies’ who don’t look up from their phone when crossing the road.

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