'Bumpy pavement' appears on Google Doodle, in honour of Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake

The latest Google Doodle features an eye-catching animation in honour of Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake, who came up with the idea of tactile paving in Japan in 1965.
The latest Google Doodle features an eye-catching animation in honour of Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake, who came up with the idea of tactile paving in Japan in 1965.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE

You may have noticed these bumpy surfaces under your feet while walking on pavements or at MRT stations and bus stops.

On Monday (March 18), the Tenji blocks - more commonly known as tactile paving - made their appearance on the Google homepage, as the search engine giant marks 52 years since the invention was first introduced.

The latest Google Doodle features an eye-catching animation in honour of Japanese inventor Seiichi Miyake, who came up with the idea of tactile paving in Japan in 1965.

Since then, the innovation has become a common sight in cities around the world, providing tactile cues to the blind as they navigate through public spaces.

In 1965, Mr Miyake spent his own money to invent the tactile blocks, as he wanted to help a close friend whose vision was becoming impaired.

His original design had two main types: one with raised dots that alert the blind that they are approaching danger, such as at road crossings; and another with bars that guide them along a safe path.

The textured blocks allow users to feel them through their shoes, or with the help of a white cane and guide dogs.

 
 

Mr Miyake's creation was first rolled out in 1967 near the Okayama School for the Blind in Okayama City.

It was later implemented across Japan, and made mandatory across the country's railway stations a decade later.

While the latest Google Doodle features the bright yellow used in the original paving, many variations in other colours and patterns have since popped up.