France sets up terrifying digital displays to stop jaywalkers in their tracks

Recent research conducted by a team at Strasbourg University in France found that in 40 percent of cases, pedestrians there cross the road even when there’s a red light instructing them to wait.

There are rules against such behavior in the European nation, though people are rarely punished if they scuttle across on a red. However, considering that in the Paris region alone more than 4,000 pedestrians are hit by cars on the streets every year, the folks in charge would really rather you stayed put till the light turns green.

In an effort to highlight the issue, French road safety body DRIEA teamed up with ad agency Serviceplan to create a system to scare the bejeezus out of these wrongdoers in the hope that it might make them reconsider their risky street-crossing habits.

Set up recently beside several crossings around Paris, the kit consists of a large digital display with motion sensors, a camera, and speakers. Every time someone crosses on a red, the sound of a car’s screeching tires blasts out of the speakers, in all likelihood causing the walker to believe they are about to die.

But that’s not all. When the screeching noise sounds, the display’s built-in camera also takes a photo of the pedestrian’s petrified expression and immediately sticks it up on the display.

With their heart pounding and legs wobbling, the panicked pedestrians in the video (above) spot their mug on the screen and go to take a closer look. As they approach the display, they’re presented with the message: “Don’t take the risk of staring death in the face. Respect the traffic lights when you cross the road.”

And as if that wasn’t enough humiliation, photos of the pedestrians’ terrified faces are currently being used on posters nationwide and as part of a Facebook campaign to promote road safety.

Emerging Tech

Welcome to the uncanny valley: This robot head shows lifelike expressions

SEER is a robot head that is capable of recognizing the facial expressions of the people that it interacts with, and then mirroring their same expression back at them. Check it out.

Both the Razer Blade and XPS 15 are capable laptops, but which is better?

We pit the latest Dell XPS 15 against the latest Razer Blade 15 to see which machine meets the needs of most people. Both are a fast, attractive, and well-built, but they still appeal to different users.
Home Theater

The white van speaker scam explained, and how it moved to Craigslist and Facebook

The so-called white van speaker scam has been around for a long time, so why do people still get conned on a daily basis? We're here to arm you and your friends with the knowledge you need to see the hoax for what it is.
Emerging Tech

Los Angeles subway to become first in the U.S. to use body scanners

Los Angeles is set to become the first city in the U.S. to use body scanners on its subway. The machines are portable and quick to set up, and can check around 2,000 people an hour without causing lines or delays for passengers.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk’s Boring Company wants to dig a tunnel to Dodger Stadium

Elon Musk's Boring Company wants to build a high-speed transportation tunnel connecting Dodger Stadium to a nearby Metro station. The system would run 150-mph passenger pods between the stadium and a terminus to the west.
Emerging Tech

Watch as a ‘lifeguard drone’ rescues a swimmer struggling at sea

These days, drones are finding a range of roles in a myriad of fields. Lifeguards, for example, are making use of the drone's ability to quickly deploy flotation devices while also offering an eye in the sky to survey the scene.

Art-inspired face blurring can obscure identity without losing humanity

Researchers have developed an AI-generated anonymity system that “paints” over video frames, using inspiration from masters like Picasso and Van Gogh to reimagine a person’s appearance. The goal is to minimize outer resemblance but…
Emerging Tech

Wish you could fly? Here are the best drones on the market right now

To help you navigate the increasingly large and ever-changing landscape of consumer UAVs, here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Experiment suggests that the best robot bosses could be jerks

Researchers have been investigating how future robot bosses can coax the most productivity out of us flesh-and-blood employees. The sad answer? Quite possibly by behaving like jerks.
Emerging Tech

VR experience shows caregivers what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s disease

Los Angeles-based VR startup Embodied Labs has developed a virtual experience that puts users in the shoes of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia in the U.S.

Crypto-intrigued? Here's how to buy Bitcoin for the first time

Is it time to purchase your first Bitcoin investment? If you're ready to get involved in the cryptocurrency, we'll walk you through how to pick an exchange, how to choose the right wallet, and how to buy Bitcoin the safe way!
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: inflatable backpacks and robotic submarines

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

6 flying cars that you might actually be able to own (and fly) in your lifetime

Just like cellphones used to be only for the rich, soon taking a personal flying machine to work is going to be a part of everyday life. Here are six pieces of tech making that possible.