Play “Pong” While You Wait to Cross the Street
Your morning walk to work just became a bit more interesting if you live in Germany. The last time you played “Pong” with this many people was probably in a multi game arcade. Now, instead of a boring wait until the traffic light changes in your favor, you can challenge strangers to a friendly round of the classic arcade game.
ActiWait Draws High Interest
Normally, when walking to work in the city, pedestrians are forced to press the signal button, then bide their time until the traffic light turns red and they are given the cue to “walk.” Now, pedestrians can press the signal button, then engage in “StreetPong,” an adapted version of the classic arcade game, with the pedestrian waiting on the other side of the street.
The technology was conceived and developed at HAWK University in Hildesheim, where developers coined the name “ActiWait.” The main purpose of the new program is to encourage pedestrians to stay on the sidewalks and wait for their turn to cross the street. People jumping out into traffic too early causes accidents and is dangerous for all pedestrians in the area as well as motorists who are obeying traffic laws.
The game could have more added benefits as well. Complete strangers can enjoy playing against each other, fostering a spirit of community and engagement.
A timer is shown on the game’s screen to show how long the players have until the lights change, but it could cause a widespread reluctance to arrive at work on time. Playing “StreetPong” and making new friends is more fun than sitting in a cubicle!
Due to the invention’s widespread appeal, game developers founded a company called Urban Invention, and many more German cities are expecting to install the new technology, including Lyon in France and Oslo in Norway.