PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Bells And Whistles

 

The bicycle bell, long ago abandoned by "serious" cyclists in favor of shouting “on your left,” has enjoyed a resurgence of late, thanks to good ol' personal electronic devices. It's not that people use mobile phone apps to make the tell-tale “bling-bling” noise you hear from little kids on bikes (but hey, what a great idea!). It's that mobile phones have made having a bicycle bell absolutely essential.

Never in all of human history has distracted walking been quite as prevalent as it is now. But who can blame us humans? There are so many interesting things to see on your phone, things that are much more interesting than the world around you, or that bike coming at you. There is spam email. There are videos on the Weather Channel app about the amazing animal world, preceded by really interesting ads for the Lincoln MKZ. And hasn’t anyone texted you this morning?

My bell (an actual physical bell, but as I said I’m looking to create an app that’s even better) provides ample warning to the distracted ambler, whose imagination is held captive by all those fancy images and games on the phone, as well as the pictures he took recently of his friend using her phone to take a picture of him taking a picture of her.

Of course, bells wouldn’t be necessary to thwart the scourge of inattentive sauntering if someone (me) would just get off their duffs and fashion simple headgear to allow a person to have the all-important cellular device positioned approximately one-foot from the eyes at all times, hands-free. The idea is to allow peple to mosey along with the phone held in a harness at eye level, such that one can keep one’s eyes on the device at all times (they’re wily little buggers, these phones, leaving you texts and what-not that you sometimes don’t notice for minutes!). True, the path ahead is still mostly obstructed for these walkers, but at least the device would be set against a backdrop in which a bike might come into view, instead of the current backdrop of one's shoes.

Looking for a patent lawyer to take my case on pro-bono.

The Dumpling Duchess
It Takes All Types
 

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Monday, 18 December 2017

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