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Standing at a crosswalk and waiting for the signal to change isn’t always the most exciting thing in the world. And even in a big city, it’s not always a situation where you witness a lot of personal interaction. The team behind Street Pong set out to make a difference.

How? By building an embedded device that runs a simple touchscreen app that’s a lot like Atari’s groundbreaking classic. It gets attached to the signal post — where you’d often find a big, silver pushbutton — on either side of the street.

When cross-traffic is flowing, the screen goes red and the game is ready for action. Once two pedestrian competitors put their fingers to the screen, the battle begins. Each player controls a skateboard, sliding it back and forth to whack the ball into their opponent’s goal.


STREETPONG from HAWK Hildesheim on Vimeo.

A red overlay provides the countdown timer. As players compete against each other it trickles down to the bottom of the screen until it’s time to cross. The display then goes green and a disappointed-yet-cheerful thumbs down lets players know that the game is over.

The result? Two people who may otherwise have quickly brushed past each other in the street exchange a high-five, a few words, and a smile. Street Pong is a beautifully simple catalyst that could be responsible for spreading good cheer around urban areas around the world.

Hildesheim isn’t a huge city, with a population of just over 100,000. Still, it’s not hard to imagine Street Pong being a hit in any major center. It’s good, clean fun… and a way to make a human connection (however fleeting) amidst the hustle and bustle urban activity.