Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

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brötchen
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Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby brötchen » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

Among the xkcd community ball-pits see to enjoy a quiet large popularity but im wondering how popular ball-pits would be among the general public. do you think there would be enough interest in ball-pits to make it a viable business model to have something like a big swimming pool but with balls instead of water? to me it would seem that creating a ball-pit would be substantially cheaper to build and also to maintain than a pool of the same size and having a ball-pit the size of, for example, an Olympic size swimming pool would be just absurdly awesome. So who of you would pay do get into a huge ball pit and how many people do you think there are in the general population that would pay for it?

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Menacing Spike
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

I would pay for it if I could but you know, poor student yadda yadda.

I know of no one else who would.

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Dason
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby Dason » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

Sanitation might be a concern. The first thing I thought of when I saw this in association with 'swimming pool' is that it would be significantly more difficult to clean up somebody peeing in the pool.
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brötchen
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby brötchen » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

well for sanitation i would imagine something like an industrial sized dish washer that is continuously filled with dirty balls from the pit and automatically puts the washed balls back in the pit via conveyor belt or pneumatic tubes. i don't think it would be more difficult the keep a large ball-pit clean than to keep a pool clean and obviously you would tell people to stay clothed so you get less sweat and other unsanitary things in the balls.

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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:04 pm UTC

Yes, there's an adult sized indoor "childrens play area" called the Fun Centre near me; they're always booked up by groups, It's great fun too!
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brötchen
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby brötchen » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Yes, there's an adult sized indoor "childrens play area" called the Fun Centre near me; they're always booked up by groups, It's great fun too!

including ballpit? must be awesome. There are way to few places where adults or even teenagers can just play around. for some reason play seems to be socially unacceptable for people above age 12 in our society...

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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby ηβπ » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:39 am UTC

I had a similar thought a bit back. If you wer careful with the plumbing of your pneumatic tubes I see no reason why you couldent have the balls pumped and washed before being reefed to the pool like swimming pool water is. Might be possible to make the balls out of antibacterial plastic (some chopping bords are made of it) or plate/vapour deposit an anti microbial metal (e.g. silver/brass) to make them double safe. The other key feature would probably be a false netting/grid floor so that any things that fall out of peoples pockets (phones, keys, money) would over time fall out the bottom rather than leaving a layer of detritus on the bottom of the pool. You could even do it in netting and padded beams so as to remove the hazard of bottoming out with dives.

Ventilation and orientation could be problems. I have read first hand accounts on the internet of people falling asleep in ball pools and finding it hard to breath after a while (I'm guessing the balls slow down the mixing of fresh and stale air). Forced ventilation from the botom would stop this and also allow you to temperature control the pit. Orientation may freak people out if they can't find their way out too. How easy would it be to exit a 3m deep ball pool any way?

One thing that did occur to me is what would happen if you blew air up though the ball pool to create a fluidised bed? (I'm hoping this is the correct terminologie I'm not that well aquatinted with fluidised bed science/technology. I'm thinking up thrust from the air keeps the ball suspended type of thing) I don't think you'd need that much air (the balls are quite light). Would you then end up with a dry equivalent to a swimming pool? As the ball don't weigh much i'd imagine you'd get the effect of a very low density so I guss you would sink to the bottom with ease, but it would still be shear thickening (the balls would lock together when pushed as altho the balls are light there is relatively quite a lot of friction between them) so you could still swim in it? Would it be like a playful quicksand (quicksand is dangerous as it's fluidised bed (sand and water) weighs a ton so its hard to move and you carnt breath it so you drown, balls would lack both these problems)? what effect would balls size have on behaviour/what its like to swim in?

O another thing that has just occurred to me, if you pumped enough balls fast enough, Could you build a ball pool "water" slide?

just some thoughts

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Red Hal
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby Red Hal » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

ηβπ wrote:How easy would it be to exit a 3m deep ball pool any way?

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Lataro
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby Lataro » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:04 pm UTC

A ball pit with a ball shark in it would make an excellent filming location for the next Survivor...
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby ConMan » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:40 am UTC

I remember that the YMCA athletics centre, where I used to do holiday activities, had a huge "pool" of foam off-cuts (mainly for doing dives and bar work, I assume). I'd love to have one of those to jump into every so often, and it's probably safer (but not necessarily more sanitary) than a ball pit.
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Re: Is there a market for a HUGE ballpit?

Postby Sungura » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:19 pm UTC

Hmm well shipping is a HUGE issue, I'll just say that upfront. I had to sell my ball pit locally because no one wanted to pay the shipping for it, prettymuch. The cost of one would be a good deal, not sure how it would compare to a pool of course, but i'm not sure there is such a huge market for one to be honest. Considering that mine (6 x 4 x 3 ft) took about a month to sell and I was only asking I think it was $150 for it - crazy cheap new balls are much more expensive - and that would fit into a room/apartment/home.
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