Virtual Wall Stops Traffic
by Mark R
In the 1982 science fiction classic Blade Runner, there is a scene where Deckard (a much younger Harrison Ford) is chasing a Replicant across futuristic city streets. If you listen closely, you can hear the crosswalks speak in a monotone voice, demandingly repeating “Cross now” or “don’t walk”. There was something really dystopian about seeing people follow these machines like electric sheep.
I guess what disturbs me the most about that particular scene is that I could see something like demanding crosswalk signs being implemented today. Don’t get me wrong, I want our crosswalks to be safe, but talking crosswalks are a little too creepy for me. I think there are limits you should go with crosswalk safety, and the Virtual Wall might be one of them.
The Virtual Wall is a barrier made up of plasma laser beams to show drivers that pedestrians now have the right to cross. Sure, the lasers won’t stop the car, but it is a definite preventative step to make sure the driver hesitates before crossing.
Presently, the Virtual Wall is merely a concept from designer Hanyoung Lee. However, I want you to just imagine that you are looking at a city of the future, where every crosswalk has one of these Virtual Walls. It probably looks like something out of Blade Runner.