Innovation That Matters

Priority seats light up when pregnant travelers are onboard


South Korea’s Pink Light campaign enables expectant mothers to alerts riders sitting in priority seats without the awkwardness of having to ask.

It’s been a while since we’ve covered innovations specifically for pregnant women, and the products we’ve seen, such as a service that adjusts jeans for use during and after pregnancy and chic morning sickness bags, tend to focus on the physical effects of pregnancy. With South Korean city Busan’s Pink Light campaign, tech is taking the guesswork out of public transport politeness and helping pregnant women find a seat.

Priority seating installed with pink alerts will light up when an expectant mother boards the train. The campaign helps pregnant women notify fellow commuters to their presence without the awkwardness of having to ask for someone’s seat. Passengers can also avoid embarrassment by receiving an unequivocal answer to the question, “Is that woman pregnant?”

The alerts are wirelessly linked through Bluetooth to sensors carried by mothers-to-be. Women must register their pregnancies with the city transport authority in order to receive the sensor. The sensors look like badges and have a six-month battery life. Busan is South Korea’s second largest city and is trialling the Pink Light campaign on the Busan-Gimhae Light Rail service. The transit and city planning offices say they hope to expand the campaign to the rest of the city’s public transport system.

Could this type of project be adapted to help people with long-term illnesses and less visible disabilities?



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