There may not be anything more annoying then walking down the hallway and having your path blocked because a group of people walking the other way are taking up the entire length of the hall.
Now researchers at the University of Electro-Communications think they may have come up with a solution to this problem using a technology called lenticular lens. The technology itself isn’t actually that new. Lenticular lenses are a made up of a row of lenses that all have one semi-circular side with some kind of image underneath each lens. The way the lens is shaped and the way the image is place makes the image appear different depending on the angle it is viewed from. Lenticular lenses are currently being used in devices such as 3D greeting cards and the newest use is for the glasses free 3D televisions.
The way the lenses work when they are placed on the ground is that the images appear to slant to the right. Because a human is generally going to give priority to their visual sense in order to maintain their balance they will follow those images slightly to the right and without even realizing it will be sectioning themselves to the right of the hallway when they walk over the lenses. The aim in the long run is that long strips of the lenticular lenses will get large groups of people to either go off to the left or off to the right depending on how the lenses are set up. This can come in handy in larger cities that have real problems with overcrowding in small spaces.
Of course there are ways to make this little bit of technology even better. Using something like a Navigon GPS will help you find where it is you need to go and prepare for swimming upstream against the crowd who haven’t been conditioned by the lenticular lens. In order for people who are using these lenses to see whether they are actually working, the iRobot surveillance bot can actually get into small places and take both video and pictures to monitor foot traffic in smaller spaced areas.