The Pokemon GO Grandpa who became a viral sensation last year has now translated his sudden popularity into a fully-fledged career. Taiwan's Chen San-yuan maneuvered his brief time under the internet's spotlight into a position as Asus ZenFone's ambassador for its newest line of devices, even appearing in tech presentations for the company.
Chen first made headlines for the peculiar way he played the Pokemon GO mobile game. Chen was spotted pursuing Pokemon on a bike that was modified to support nine different phones affixed to it, so that he could collect nine times as many Pokemon. Chen would then bike around town on a schedule to maximize the amount of returns he'd see for his investment of time. When people want to know what min-maxing Pokemon GO would look like, Chen is probably one of the closest things we've ever seen to actually pulling it off.
Now, though, Chen is rocking a different bike, thanks to a new partnership with Asus and its ZenFone line of smartphones. In a presentation covered by Apple Today and then corroborated by Kotaku, Chen was spotted with a newly-modified bike that now holds a baffling 22 Asus smartphones. The bike looks like something out of the Akira film, a sprawling testament to humanity's hubris, and it's also probably kind of hard to steer. Here's a better look at Chen's appearance during the ZenFone presentation:
台湾のポケモンマスター、サトシ（70）こと陳三元、ASUSのイメージキャラクターに大抜擢。 pic.twitter.com/pWjhYj2cGm— 阿雞 (@SCMcrocodile) March 17, 2019
For the sake of transparency, this image shows when Chen only had 21 smartphones affixed to the bike. Part of the presentation involved him adding his historic 22nd, a feat that probably could have sold a lot more seats to the presentation had it been advertised as an element of the show. This isn't the first time Chen has appeared for Asus, either: last month, he made a quick cameo during a company presser. The Pokemon GO Grandpa-turned-celebrity has become pretty famous around the streets of Taipei, where his use of ZenFone Max Pro phones serves as an advertisement for the Asus device's battery life and GPS accuracy.
Chen's sudden turn as the unlikely spokesperson for a tech giant is just another illustration of how easy it is for something seemingly innocuous to take on a life of its own once it reaches the internet. Luckily, in the case of Chen, his obsession with Pokemon GO resulted in a heartwarming ending that gave him both a new gig and over double the amount of phones he previously had to work with. While not all memes end up so positive, here's hoping 2019 begins a trend where more of them result in elderly video game fans becoming the face of innovative technology. And hey, we know Detective Pikachu could mark the beginning of a Pokemon cinematic universe - maybe there's a place in it for Chen?