The era of distracted walking is certainly upon us. Dividing attention between cell phone and sidewalk leaves an estimated 1,500 people a year in the hospital with an embarrassing story to tell. Controlled experiments have found that pedestrians using a phone recall less about their surroundings than other walkers do--with some people so zoned out that they fail to spot a unicycling clown.
Lately any discussion of distracted walking has centered on whether Google Glass will help or hurt the situation. On one hand, the device's very design was supposed to free our eyes to look forward. On the other hand, looking isn't seeing, and some cognitive scientists worry that our inability to see a device and the world around us at the same time could have "potentially dangerous consequences."