back to article The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

Remember when Pokemon Go suddenly became a thing and idiots ran off cliffs, into trees, through hospitals, and across lanes of traffic, causing plenty of accidents? At the time it was hailed as the future of augmented reality – people seeing and catching imaginary creatures while out in the real world thanks to smartphone …

  1. Mayday

    Crikey! This is still a thing?

    I thought people got over the whole Pokemon Go thing. Kind of like me and Ninja Turtles in the 90s. However a cursory Google show's there's a Pokemon World Championships, this weekend in fact. I must be old and/or out of touch or uncool or something.

    For those more on the pulse than me, one can still register it would seem. Unfortunately spectator seats have sold out and I will be missing out on the action.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

      ... old and/or out of touch or uncool or something.


      Me too.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

      >I thought people got over the whole Pokemon Go thing. Kind of like me and Ninja Turtles in the 90s

      You don't need to be Leonardo (devinci) to work that one out...

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

      I think that world championships is for the Pokemon trading card game, not for Pokemon Go.

      Not that I've played either, but it's important to get your nerd categorisations correct... I have played Magic and Netrunner a couple of times each, and enjoyed them both (but not enough to play any more), so I wouldn't dismiss Pokemon cards as rubbish. The Go thing seemed to interest people for a couple of weeks, I guess because the idea seemed so novel to them, and then disappeared due to lack of interest. However I can imagine some sort of treasure hunt based partly in real locations and mostly online could be a popular smartphone game for a long time, if it was made to work well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

        I work with a bloke that spends his time hunting Pokemon, with not one or even two phones - but three!

        1. PPK
          Thumb Up

          Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

          Three phones? Amateur:

    4. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Crikey! This is still a thing?

      I've never played it myself (as I find pretend slavery and cockfighting a bit disturbing), but I have quite a few family members and friends who do. There was "community event" here (everywhere? I don't know how these things work) weekend before last, and I wandered about the town square with my kid, her family, and the neighbors for a couple of hours while they did ... whatever it was they did. Everyone but Granddaughter Minor and I participated. (GMinor, at 14 months, is not yet proficient. GMajor, who has recently passed the 5.5y mark, was fully on board with it.)

      My vague understanding is Pokemon Go has toned down the gladiatorial aspects of the franchise, and I can attest that many of the players are good people and not all are obnoxious electric-scooter-riding hipsters. So I don't complain. But this ball does indeed sound like a marvelously stupid idea.

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first


    At least this will stop people walking along the pavement with a phone stuck to their face.

    Oh, wait...!

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Well..

      I find 'accidentally' clipping them with my elbow as the stumble past to be satisfying, if not actually helpful.

      I'm still not sure which is worst, young people with phones glued to their face are a bit more numerous, but seem to be able to manage rudimentary navigation. On the other hand there's fewer old people staring at their phone as if they're expecting the meaning of life to be revealed to them, but when they do they seem to have much more trouble moving and viewing at the same time.

      Both have trouble avoiding oncoming pedestrians (ie me).

      I prefer the unpopular "I'll look at my damn phone next time I'm sat down" approach.

      1. JohnFen

        Re: Well..

        "I prefer the unpopular "I'll look at my damn phone next time I'm sat down" approach."

        How old school of you! I've slightly modernized my approach to this. I don't necessarily wait until I'm sitting, but if I need to use my phone while I'm out and about, I will find an out-of-the-way spot to actually stand still while I'm slab-fondling.

  3. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
  4. Andy Mac

    I thought I was reading Something For The Weekend for a minute there.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This could be entertaining

    I await with moderate anticipation the tales of mayhem this "product" is going to generate (hoping nothing serious, though).

    That said, if this is the only thing they can think of as a justification of so-called "augmented" reality, then that's another fad that will be put to rest along with Google Glasses.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This could be entertaining

      Due to an unfortunate habit, as a result of my condition here, of passing out cold at any time/condition/location/position, the doctors have been trying to persuade me to wear a padded head protection. Maybe this would be a good time to take them up on the offer?

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: This could be entertaining

      "... another fad that will be put to rest along with Google Glasses."

      Whilst I still think Google Glass was/is a bad idea in so many ways, having two-year-old twins has often had me wishing for a means of taking photos without use of my hands! If Google had marketed them at parents instead of hipsters, history could have been very different! (I hope this doesn't give them any ideas...)

  6. Mage Silver badge


    Perhaps if I out on foot I will wear a GAA helmet. Not as hot and heavy as motorcycle full face and more effective than a cycle helmet.

    Will shopping centres / malls make them illegal like they had to do with wheelie footwear?

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      Just wondering, would something like this be of use?

      1. Francis Boyle

        Not unless

        you can work out how to install a radar dish on your head.

  7. TheProf

    The ball's gone flat

    Just imagine a petulant child picking up the ball and declaring "It's my ball and I'm going home! To recharge it."

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: The ball's gone flat

      Sounds like an excuse for battery...

  8. steelpillow Silver badge


    Extra marks if you hit the thing with a paintball gun.

    Where else would it be safe to use? The padded cell the inventors now live in, perhaps?

  9. onefang

    So another balls up then.

  10. MatsSvensson

    Cant wait to have cochlear implants instead of earbuds!

    ...and hope they don't get pwned by someone who will make them emit subliminal micro-noises all night, just enough so I don't get any deep sleep ever an go slowly insane.

    1. JohnFen

      "who will make them emit subliminal micro-noises all night,"

      I'd be more nervous about sudden loud squealing.

      That said, I have to confess that I pulled a prank on a friend a few years back. I made a little device that emitted a single tree frog croak, three times per night at randomly staggered intervals, powered by a battery that by my computations would last approximately five years. (Tree frogs are very common in my part of the world, so it isn't an unusual noise). Then I hid it in my friend's bedroom.

      It took months before my friend mentioned that some frog got into his room and it's been driving him nuts trying to find it. He was wanting to know what the life span of a tree frog was. I smiled and told him "about five years".

  11. Shady

    Remember when Pokemon Go suddenly became a thing and idiots ran off cliffs....

    ...if only - my wife and I, after a long and tortuous (for me) morning of shopping, decided to visit Cafe Rouge in the Trafford Centre for a quick meal.

    Whilst we were there, a constant stream of, erm, tourists, made their way through the restaurant to our table, stood there poking their phones for a few seconds, then wandered off. Must've been easily a half a dozen before we even got our drinks, and another dozen or so during the meal.

    I'm quite a placid person, normally don't say boo to a goose, but towards the end of lunch as another of these tourists started making their way towards our table I stood and before he quite reached us, told him in my most manly voice, a red face and a pointy finger, to Fuck Off - which he did with haste and a horrified expression.

    If they'd just stood near the table, I might not even have noticed them as it was incredibly busy, but these guys were literally rubbing their crotches against my and my wife's chairs as they stood there, completely oblivious to the people who were mere inches from having genitals rubbed against them.

    The waitress scuttled over after my outburst, and helpfully explained that our table was a "pokey thing battle playground thingy"

    There are very few times in my life when I've felt utter, white-hot rage - this was one of them.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Remember when Pokemon Go suddenly became a thing and idiots ran off cliffs....

      What a shame you didn't explore the possibilites of enhancing their computer/physical world cross-over enjoyment with a special fork/genitals interface experience[TM].

  12. MrKrotos

    Combine this with "self driving cars"

    and with a bit of luck it will solve the over population issues :P

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    moon foam

    See title, what the f*ck is it?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: moon foam

      It's like ordinary foam, but that's been passed through a marketing department.

      Or it's what happens when you're forced to go to the toilet in the street after a night on the washing up liquid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: moon foam

        So no actual moon, thanks for clearing that up.

        1. onefang

          Re: moon foam

          "So no actual moon, thanks for clearing that up."

          That's not a moon!

    2. FlamingDeath Silver badge
  14. Aladdin Sane

    What a load of balls.

  15. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    It can't be as dangerous as you say, it's just a rubber ball and they didn't send you one to play with in the office so you're sulking.

    Granted, I cannot find that "moon foam" is a thing..

    1. Aladdin Sane

      One of those rubber balls hitting me in the face would be very dangerous to the thrower.

  16. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Just great!

    Cycling through, or even near a park in my home town became quite risky at the height of the craze, as I frequently had to jam my breaks in order to avoid some idiot who stepped out onto the street or on the bicycle lane. Now I will have to play dodge ball on my bike as well. If one hits me I will give the owner's phone a reprogramming it will never forget (with a large axe, for preference)

    1. Alister

      Re: Just great!

      I frequently had to jam my breaks

      Oh Michael, I'm so disappointed in you...

    2. Cynic_999

      Re: Just great!


      ... became quite risky at the height of the craze, as I frequently had to jam my breaks in order to ...


      I sometimes have jam during my breaks. On bread together with a cup of coffee. Though what that has to do with this article evades me.

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Just great!

      Kids should play old fashioned games, such as football, no, wait. That causes just as much trouble.

      Robert Carnegie, cyclist and baller. Not footballer.

  17. Chris King

    Remember when yo-yo's came back into fashion ?

    Some snarky little kid almost hit me in the face with a yo-yo and looked rather smug about it...

    ...until I caught it, broke the string (it wasn't even a very good one) and threw it over a fence into a building site.

    "Regrettably, you violated my airspace".

    1. onefang

      Re: Remember when yo-yo's came back into fashion ?

      Would that be the first time they came back into fashion, or the second time, or...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not dead yet

    Despite what you may expect, the Pokémon company is expecting to milk this craze for another decade or more. And why not, if you look it up they are still raking in over USD 2 Million per DAY! It's still number 3 in IOS downloads as of Aug 2018. They recently surpassed $1.8 billion total revenue.

  19. Mark 85

    Of all the stupid, idiotic products one could come up with. The sad part is that it probably will sell very well. On the upside, Darwin will be happy that his "law" will once more be validated. The sad part is that too many people (mostly parents) will by their sprog one and then launch sueballs if said idiot child gets hit by a car while playing with it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Meet Pokeboot. Or in this case say bye-bye to your expen$ive gadget because anyone violating MY airspace will be met with cataclysmic force.

    This goes for Pokedrones if they are ever a thing, they won't be for long.

    (fx: sound of me gutting one for parts and sending the mauled carcass back to its owner, with a video of said gutting on memory card!)

  21. Cynic_999

    Promotional video

    I note that the promo vid helpfully showed a target fictional creature perched in front of a top floor window with a young girl holding a ball and eying it from below. So any parent with more than a couple of brain cells has been warned of the likely consequences of buying this for their sprog.

  22. 2Nick3

    Not too worried

    I mean how hard are the "couch critters" likely to be using this going to be able to throw?

  23. dmacleo

    shooter gamers.....please stay away from this tech :)

  24. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Will these balls be waterproof?

    Sounds like people will be doing a lot of dribbling on/with them.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    If I get tagged by one of these things...

    The owner better hope that there isn't a long, downhill slope nearby. Also acceptable would be a fence with an attack dog training kennel or tiger enclosure on the other side.

    If it hits me in the face, I swear to God that I am looking for an open storm drain.

    (Icon shows artists conception of the author trying to reinsert his eyeball, post-impact.)

    1. JohnFen

      Re: If I get tagged by one of these things...

      Ehh, why go to that much effort when you could enjoy deflating the ting with a pocket knife, in self defense.

  26. Long John Brass
    Paris Hilton

    squash racket

    Should take care of the little bouncing buggers :)

    On the other hand; Getting the couch potatoes out into the big blue room should be a cause for celebration no?

    /icon Paris cuz she likes to play with balls; or so I'm told.

  27. Chairman of the Bored

    No, I'm not going to throw your stupid e-ball back at your face...

    ...when my foot detects two perfectly good ones hanging right abou... GOAL!!

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