Certain members of the NYPD might find the recent crackdown on jaywalking "retarded," but on Broadway and Waverly, at least, cops won't have to do all the work. A new "living pedestrian signal" called PopPop is currently alerting walkers to all sorts of aspects of their surroundings, delivering helpful (annoying?) edicts instructing them how to...walk... better.


"PopPop offers a glimpse of what the future of our relationships and interactions with our neighborhoods might be," an explanatory video says. Let's hope it doesn't come to this, because PopPop is a bossy sonofabitch. "Stop Jay Walking!" it will scold, or "Keep Smiling" it will demand. (As a related suggestion, can we all agree to just retire advising anyone to smile, ever?)

The signal was developed by a trio of enterprising NYU students—Sam Slover, Alexandra Coym and Steve Cordova—who created the device by funneling a combination of local news data and live feed info to a crowdsourcing site, which performs the analysis that determines the mood of PopPop's messages. The premise, the creator says, is to digitize some sort of affable crossing guard of yesteryear, a kindly soul who dishes out weather-related platitudes and the occasional moldy Werther's Original.

'"Pop Pop" can be imagined like a caring older gentleman who is protective of his intersection: he wants to make sure everyone is safe and happy as they cross through his intersection," the creators wrote on the Pop Pop tumblr.

Now if we can just get that caring older gentleman to start screaming at drivers who door cyclists, we'll be in business.