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Reinventing the ball for new recreational pursuits


April 11, 2007

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April 12, 2007 Bizit Air Products have come up with a fun idea - inflatable plastic balls with up to a 4.5 metre/15 foot diameter that can accomodate dancers, motorcycles, and even cars for a showstopping presentation that's hard to ignore. Fully sealed, the balls allow an occupant to walk on land, water, or even a sea of hands, all the while looking like they're trapped in a soap bubble.

Charles Blane Jones, a former door-to-door encyclopedia salesman, came up with the idea in 1997 in Milan, Italy. The concept has found some creative uses:

- Teams of acrobats inside inflatable balls have entertained guests at the Versace mansion. - Large balls with advertising banners printed onto them have been used as part of half-time entertainment at major sporting events. - Specially built 7.5 metre bubbles have been used to present cars at motor shows. - Mini "Bimboballs" have allowed kids to get in on the action. - The Flaming Lips' lead singer Wayne Coyne used a Crowdsurfing Ball to walk across the outstretched hands of fans at recent Lollapalooza shows in the USA. - Red Bull sponsored a hugely entertaining Waterball race series in Italy.

Wherever the balls have been used to date, they've been a source of fascination. We look forward to seeing where this concept goes from here.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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