Student designs ‘third eye’ so you can walk and text at the same time

An industrial design student created a “third eye” for the phone-obsessed. It’s an invention straight out of Black Mirror.

If your eyes are always glued to your phone, Minwook Paeng was probably thinking of you when he created the Third Eye. The robotic prosthetic eye sits on top of the user’s head to detect obstacles while they’re scrolling through TikTok and DMs.

When the wearer’s head is tilted down, Third Eye automatically opens its lid. If an obstruction is detected, it gives off a warning buzz. This allows the virtual-obsessed to stay online even when hazards offline could interrupt them.

Paeng’s device was developed as part of his Innovation Design Engineering degree at London’s Royal College of Art and Imperial College. The theme was “phono sapiens” which took a satirical look at how modern humans are attached to their smartphones.

“The smartphone has permeated into modern life so deeply that it’s impossible to deny the evolution of phono sapiens,” Paeng told Dezeen.

Paeng also pointed out how smartphones are affecting our actual bodies.

“By using smartphones in a bad posture, our neck vertebrae are leaning forward giving us ‘turtle neck syndrome’ and the pinkies we rest our phones on are bending along the way,” he told Dezeen. “When a few generations go by, these small changes from smartphone usage will accumulate and create a completely different, new form of mankind.”

The designer is not wrong “turtle neck” also known as “text” or “tech” neck has been well documented. It’s when you hunch over to use your phone and over time erode your posture, it can even create a back hump. Smartphone finger, which affects the pinky and thumb is when tendons in the finger muscles become worn down due to repeated movements, like swiping or holding a phone.

“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 said.

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