June 14, 2021

Sneak Pikachu – Pokémon proof bollard concept unveiled

A surge in the number of minor bumps and collisions caused by pedestrian’s intent on collecting Pikachu and pals – has led a leading UK street furniture firm to rethink the bollard.

According to Townscape Products, there has been a sharp, entirely unquantifiable increase in the number of collisions between pedestrians and objects in the street as engrossed gamers collect Pokémon Go characters.

Often these collisions, which cause little more than mild embarrassment, are shrugged off and go unreported – but they do hurt!

Many such slow speed incidents involve items of street furniture such as bollards, bins, benches and posts – like the ones the Townscape manufactures.

To raise awareness (quite literally) and provoke discussion about people’s changing interaction with the urban environment – BollardsHQ, the bollard division of Townscape, has unveiled a concept product that could help Pokémon proof town centres – a cushioned bollard sleeve dubbed the “Bump-b-gon”.

Jess Fergusson, sales manager, Townscape Products said: “In the past people have proven themselves largely able to avoid bumping into street furniture despite not noticing it. Pokémon Go however changed this literally overnight. Many people are now noticing street furniture less quickly than it notices them – all because they’ve got their heads in their phones catching Pokémon! 

“Worst of all – nobody knows the scale of the problem. In the UK, and indeed the world over – the frequency at which people are walking into poles, posts, bollards, bins and even street benches, before looking up sheepishly, checking if anybody noticed and never mentioning it again – must be mind boggling.”

Bump-b-gon bollard sleeve

The “Bump-b-gon” aims to grab the attention of gamers to prevent, or at very least, cushion impact.

Jess continues: “At this stage, our product is still very much a tongue in cheek concept, but we anticipate this trend of minor mishaps could continue to grow as ever more games, like Pokémon Go, very inventively, fuse virtual and real worlds.”

“Moving forwards, we are keen to get the opinions of councils and town planners throughout the UK to get a better idea of the scale of the problem and explore whether people’s interaction with street furniture has, since the advent of Pokémon Go – changed permanently.” 

For more information on Townscape Products please call 01623 513355 or visit www.townscapeproducts.co.uk

For more information on BollardsHQ please visit www.bollards.co.uk.