Waiting at a crosswalk for the light to change can get rather boring. These days, people typically just bury their heads in their cell phone and lose track of everyone and everything around them. But not anymore thanks to two creative design students from Germany who have come up with the perfect solution to beat crosswalk boredom.
The pair’s brilliant idea originally went viral in 2012, and detailed a crosswalk button that allowed strangers waiting on either side of the crosswalk to play a game of pong against one another.
The names behind the nifty idea are Amelie Künzler and Sandro Engel, two interactive design students studying at HAWK University. With some help from local tech developers, they were finally able to see their idea come to life a few weeks ago in Hildesheim, a city in Germany.
The design students started off with only a concept video, which gained immense popularity a couple of years back. The fake visualization was far more popular with the online community than they ever imagined possible. After earning millions of views and likes they decided to make the concept into a reality.
There were plenty of technical challenges along the way, but at last the crosswalk that allows you to play a game of pong while you wait for the light to change is a reality. The location is rather fitting, as it has been installed at a crosswalk right in front of HAWK University.
Sandro and Amelie discussed their unique project in an interview with Bored Panda. “The idea came while waiting for the light to turn green. Sandro always needed to wait a traffic light in front of our Campus and one day thought ‘this could be more fun’ and so he developed the concept and the first video with Holger Michel, who a few months later left the team.”
The game is played using a touch screen interface attached to the crosswalk pole on both sides of the street. Not only is the design perfect for killing time, but it also promotes more social interaction amongst people.
The creative duo explains, “People are mostly excited and happy to have such a device. They smile and get to know each other. There are even visitors from other cities and countries who are coming to play a match of streetpong. Some don’t understand the concept behind it immediately but if we explain it to them they think it is great and don’t want to stop playing.”
The designers are hopeful that one day their idea will be used for much more than simply playing a game of pong. “The touchscreen is a platform on which we can show videos, pictures and it can be used as a device for communication. So we think cities could use it as guides through a city our to give children traffic education right there.”
To the delight of the designers, as well as many people that frequently use the crosswalk, the final product was installed and revealed a few weeks ago in Hildesheim, Germany.
The success of their design has fueled their desire to do even more. The pair is currently working to develop a new device for Subway stations, although they admit that project still has a long way to go. No matter how long it takes, we know these two have big things in store for the future, of which the rest of us can eagerly look forward to!
Wondering what a game of streetpong really looks like? Check out the video below:
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