Mobile phone gadget makes buses stop

Japanese phone
Japanese phones like this are typically festooned with dangling charms

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?

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.