Tag Archives: Safety

What are the problems of ATM machine?

We use ATM machines to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money. However, strangers unintentionally overlook what we do when they stand behind us or next to us because they stand side by side and people queue behind us. Unfortunately, this issue has not been addressed in Korea yet. Only a tiny, low-resolution mirror is attached on top of each machine.

Differently from Seoul, Shenzhen provides safer and more comfortable experience. A orange-colored bank not only provides sufficient distance between machines but also allows users to get inside the closed space. Therefore, Chinese users feel safe while being “encapsulated.”

In fact, ATM safety is an international issue. Designers address this issue from an innovative perspective. For instance, IDEO designed humanized ATMs for the Spanish bank, BBVA. This concept was introduced in Fastcodesign.

The biggest overhaul, though, has nothing to do with the touchscreen; it’s the position of the machine itself. It’s rotated 90 degrees, forcing people to queue up next to the ATM rather than behind it — a remarkably simple solution to a longstanding problem: the ominous feeling, when you’re taking out cash, that the guy behind you is about to rob you blind.

Another interesting idea is a concept called Magic Carpet proposed by a Polish industrial designer, Judyta Wojciechowska. This concept was introduced at the Behance.

Magic Carpet is a decorative floor covering located on the footway beside an ATM. The carpet design guides ATM users as to where to stand to maintain the privacy of the person using the ATM and also to accommodate pedestrian flow. This visual guidance on the footway indicates the desired direction and distance for the people to form the queue for the ATM. If the ATM user’s private space is invaded then sensors in the carpet detect this movement and activate a vibration system beneath their feet. The vibration alerts the user to respond and the “invader” to step back. This design consequently protects the ATM user from crimes such as shoulder surfing distraction theft and pick-pocketing.

Helmet-shaped booth of an insurance company



OOH (Out-Of-Home) advertising is any type of advertising that reaches the consumer while he or she is outside the home. Since this medium is in contrast with broadcast, print, and Internet advertising, it is focused on marketing to consumers when they are “on the go” in public places, in transit, waiting (such as in a medical office), and/or in specific commercial locations (such as in a retail venue) (see more in Wikipedia).

While staying in Bangkok, I met a creative OOH advertising made by AIA (Chinese: 友邦保險), a Hong Kong-based insurance company who has offices in many Asia-Pacific countries. I found many helmet-shaped booths standing on the street: some are used for bikers or cyclists to take some breaks and others are used for simple demonstration. Although the booths may not enhance the real security of the street, I felt safe when I saw them, which is similar to when I saw Starbucks or Tim Hortons on the street. More importantly, I inferred my psychological security from the real security; I considered AIA as a company who can protect me from a dangerous financial market. Nicely done! 🙂

Ground level traffic lights help pedestrians be safe

Tactile paving is a system of textured ground surface indicators. It aims to assist pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired (see Wikipedia) and is also called truncated domes, detectable warnings, Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, or detectable warning surface. In Seoul, Korea, some of the tactile pavings light up at night. Interestingly, its color turns the same color with the traffic light; it turns red when the traffic light is red, and it is green when the traffic light is green.

DML_tactitle paving 01   DML_tactitle paving 02   DML_tactitle paving 03

This lighting system will not only benefit visually impaired pedestrians; it will also enhance the safety of the pedestrians who are distracted by their own tasks (e.g., listening music by earphones or sending text messages by their smart phones)!