The problem of securing a seat on public transport whilst pregnant is not just a UK thing, and now the global epidemic has sparked Korean inventors to come up with a solution, once and for all.
The Beacon app, currently being trialled in an area of South Korea, uses Bluetooth technology to light up pink beside priority seats when a pregnant woman who’s downloaded the app is close by (within 2 metres).
“These days, people are usually looking at their phones and they are not really aware that a seat is reserved for pregnant women,” says Ock Si-yoon, a 33-year-old who is expecting a baby. “But now…it is easy for people to notice when the sensor blinks.”
In truth, the impetus behind this clever creation is to help alleviate the stubbornly low birthrate within the Asian country by making the experience of pregnancy easier. Yet bringing the app to our shores would no doubt inspire a tad more chivalry on the commute, too. (It could also help to avoid those embarrassing moments when you offer a seat to someone you think might be pregnant but who isn’t…).
Still; while the flashing light scheme might make it especially difficult to ignore a bulging bump in transit – more so than the ‘Baby on Board’ badge – that selective blindness can be pretty tough to cure…