Culture & Technology
In a post on March 27 I suggested a new word --"dumbwalking" -- to describe the glacial and autistic walk of persons absorbed in interaction with their smart phones ("Smart Phones Make For Dumb Walks" being my explanatory epigram). I suggested at the time that the proliferation of smart phones would bring on the day when the Shibuya Crossing would fail to clear.
NTT DoCoMo has posted a video of the simulation of this exact scenario on its You Tube Channel. (Link - video - J)
The result: if the crowd of walkers are all operating smart phones, only 36% of them make it across in the 46 seconds they have between the light changes at the Shibuya Crossing.
Click on the link and watch the video. It is trip -- literally, in some cases.
One key variable, made clear at the 0:47 point of the simulation, is the speed at which dumbwalkers are presumed to perambulate. According to motion studies at the Aichi University of Technology, dumbwalking (the Japanese term is sumaho aruki) is an astonishing 20 times slower than normal walking.
So "glacial" is not hyperbole and one is not imagining things. Dumbwalkers really are moving so slowly they might as well be considered inanimate objects.
Takes the "mobile" right out of mobile telephony, doesn't it?