Smartphone zombie

  (Redirected from Smombie)
Distracted smartphone users

A smartphone zombie (or smombie) is a pedestrian who walks slowly and without attention to their surroundings because they are focused upon their smartphone. This has been reported as a significant safety hazard, as distracted pedestrians cause accidents. Cities such as Chongqing and Antwerp introduced special lanes for smartphone users in 2014 and 2015, to help direct and manage them.[1][2][3]

In Hong Kong, they are called dai tau juk ("the head-down tribe").[4]

Texting pedestrians may trip over curbs, walk out in front of cars and bump into other walkers. The field of vision of a smartphone user is estimated to be just 5% of that of an undistracted pedestrian.[5]


Safety measuresEdit

An app which uses the phone's camera to make it seem transparent can be used to provide some warning of hazards.[6][7] In Augsburg and Cologne, ground-level traffic lights embedded in the pavement have been introduced so that they are more visible to preoccupied pedestrians.[8] In Seoul, warning signs were placed on the pavement at dangerous intersections following over a thousand road accidents caused by smartphones in South Korea in 2014.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Leo Benedictus (15 September 2014), "Chinese city opens 'phone lane' for texting pedestrians", The Guardian 
  2. ^ Heather Chen (7 September 2015), Asia's Smartphone Addiction, Singapore: BBC News 
  3. ^ David Chazan (14 June 2015), "Antwerp introduces 'text walking lanes' for pedestrians using mobile phones", The Daily Telegraph 
  4. ^ Mark Sharp (2 March 2015), "Beware the Smartphone Zombies Blindly Wandering Around Hong Kong", South China Morning Post 
  5. ^ "Japan's smartphone 'zombies' turn urban areas into human pinball", Japan Times, 17 November 2014 
  6. ^ Ellie Zolfagharifard (4 March 2014), "Text AND walk: App makes your mobile 'transparent' so you can see the street in front of you while typing", Daily Mail 
  7. ^ Peter Apps (31 March 2014), "'Transparent' iPhones: A text and walk plan for those trying to do two things at once", Independent 
  8. ^ Janek Schmidt (29 April 2016), "Always practise safe text: the German traffic light for smartphone zombies", The Guardian 
  9. ^ Max Bearak (21 June 2016), "Seoul wants 'smartphone zombies' to read road signs instead", Washington Post 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit