China creates special walking lanes for smartphone users

Saqib Shah
September 15, 2014

Forget Boris Johnson’s plans for a cycle super highway in London, what the city really needs are dedicated walking lanes for smartphone users.

The concept is certainly catching on elsewhere, as Chongqing City in China has become the latest metropolis to implement the lanes, following in the footsteps of Washington DC.

If, like us, you find yourself glued to your smartphone at all hours, then I’m sure a walking lane created for the sole purpose of browsing on your handset while on the go will sound appealing.

As you can see in the pictures below, Tweeted by Chinese newspaper the People’s Daily, they’re relatively simple lanes with white outlines and directional arrows.

In the picture to the left there seems to be a smartphone painted on the ground too. It’s a crudely drawn device, which makes it hard to discern what phone model the artist was aiming for – you’d think someone like Xiaomi would take this chance to sponsor the lanes with images of its latest Mi4 handset, or something.

The other image shows people actually using one of the new lanes. However, it seems as much a designated space to pause and look at your phone as to walk and browse.

Additionally, unlike the lane implemented in Washington DC – which was part of a stunt by national Geographic, China is taking its initiative much more seriously. In fact, as far as we know, the lanes in Chongqing City, were officially permitted by local authorities.

Over the past two years, smartphone shipments in China have nearly quadrupled to hit over 400 mn users, making it the world’s largest smartphone market.

What do you think of dedicated smartphone lanes? Would you like to see them in your home town? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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