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Belgian zombie texters get their own walking lanes

Technically Incorrect: A Belgian smartphone store thinks it would help prevent broken phone screens to draw lanes where people can walk and text. Like that's going to work.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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How the lanes are featured on the store's Facebook page. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I admire those who try to solve problems that are clearly insoluble.

I bow my head, therefore, toward another gracious attempt to prevent those who walk down the street and text from headbutting the three people who don't.

This time it's in Antwerp, Belgium, where special lanes have been installed, designed to funnel texter-walkers -- sometimes called zombie texters -- into them.

Of course this isn't going to work. Those who walk and text never look where they're going. How likely is it, therefore, that they'll look up to see where these lanes are?

Similar experiments have been tried before, once in Chongqing, China, and one in Washington, D.C., which was part of a National Geographic Channel documentary. In the latter, a lane was actually labeled "No Cell Phones" and another was labeled

"CELL PHONES: Walk In This Lane At Your Own Risk." The signs were largely ignored.

In the Antwerp case, the Bored Panda site says the texting lane was the brainchild of local smartphone store, MLab. The store reportedly offered a humorous marketing twist by insisting that the lanes were there to reduce instances of smartphones smashing.

MLab proudly displays the lanes on its Facebook page. I do worry about them, as some are not in straight lines. How can one hope that walking texters will be able to follow the lanes while busily texting?

Every time such a thing has been tried, I think there's one city that would be the true test. That is New York. Who would be surprised if New Yorkers found amusement in stretching their legs over into texting lanes, just to trip an unsuspecting texter?

Oh, what am I saying? This would never work in New York. They're all walking and texting and the lanes would just be ignored.