Mobile phone gadget makes buses stop

While dangling mobile phone charms aren't exactly commonplace in the UK, Japan has the market well covered, with some mobiles home to half a dozen different cartoon characters and peculiar gadgets.

One of the oddest has to be the ¥880 (£5) Bus Buzzer Cell Phone Strap from a firm called Strapya, which is dedicated to annoying operators of public transport.

Lazy riders

The purple and white hunk of plastic features a button marked (in Japanese, of course) 'Stop' and a light under that warning passengers to stay where they are until the bus stops.

If you haven't guessed by now, the idea is that anyone riding a bus and wanting to get off at the next stop should press the button attached to their own phone.

Do that and the device emits a loud alert and a recorded message informing passengers that the bus will indeed be stopping.

Nostalgia gadget

Strapya says it's for those times when it's hard to get to a real button, but we suspect the Bus Buzzer is really more of a nostalgia trip for grown-ups wanting to look back on those early-morning bus trips to school.

We wonder what the UK equivalent might be – perhaps a charm that explains why the privatised bus is so late, or maybe one that replicates obnoxious teens cycling through all the ringtones on their mobiles?