I read an article recently on the BBC about whether or not pressing the pedestrian crossing button actually does anything. It turns out that quite a few do nothing at all to effect the time it takes for the green man to show. Sometimes the wait can be up to two minutes, think of all the things we could have done in all those minutes spent waiting to cross.
With the arrival of the iPhone 5s and it’s fingerprint reader button on my mind, I waited to cross the road a few weeks ago. A thought occurred to me as I pressed the pedestrian crossing button. What if I could pay money to speed up or remove the waiting time altogether? In fact if the button was also a fingerprint reader then it could be linked to an online account that is set up as Pay-as-you-press. Each press instantly (or as quickly as is safe) changes the red man to green and £0.40 is deducted from my account. For £0.70 you can also choose your own tune to cross the road to.
I went out on to the streets of London to test the system, listen here to find out how it went…
The Quick Cross fingerprint reader pedestrian crossing button.
Here I designed an app for signing up to the Quick Cross system.
BBC article about pedestrian crossing.
UPDATE: the BBC picked up on this post, at the bottom of this page… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-24291571
9 thoughts on “Fingerprint activated, no waiting, pedestrian crossing”
LOL that a great idea, I like it, sure BORIS would push for it!
Boris is the first name that came to my mind too. But how long before drivers come up with a QuickCross zapper to ensure they don’t get caught by it.
Oh no! I forsee an arms race-style escalation of pedestrian v motorist devices. And that’s not even talking about the cyclists.
Yes as @wesayso has suggested on twitter, cars could pay extra to override the red change.
Yes Boris is on my £3 a minute phone line now.
perhaps Boris bikes could activate for free!
[…] “If the button was also a fingerprint reader then it could be linked to an online account that is set up as pay-as-you-press. Each press instantly (or as quickly as is safe) changes the red man to green and £0.40 is deducted from my account. For £0.70 you can also choose your own tune to cross the road to,” Wilcox writes on his Variations on Normal blog. […]
I love this stuff. But heads up, I think youre BBC link is broken.
It works ok I think, it is mentioned at the bottom of the page. Thank Dominic
It’s interesting to learn that nowadays there are apps that can help in hastening the pedestrian crossing systems with even the added option of having their own tune as they cross the road as you’ve mentioned. That’s simply jaw-dropping as we have managed to progress far enough through technology that almost everything can be done in the comfort of our fingertips. I’ll try to read more about these upgrades in the pedestrian crosswalk systems and see if there are other innovations as of late. Thanks!