Gadgets

British Company Develops Video Game Controlled By Pee

I remember using a urinal with a bulls-eye in it during a family road trip when I was a kid. At the time, I thought it was one of the coolest things that I had ever come across.

Perhaps for as long as man has walked the Earth, we have enjoyed aiming our pee at objects, like writing messages in the snow. So, it was only a matter of time before technology merged with this ancient fascination.

Captive Media in Cambridge, has accomplished this by developing the first hands-free video game system by using pee.

The system consists of “a 12-inch LCD screen with an Atom-dual core microprocessor running Windows 7 embedded” that is activated by “a patented contact-less sensor unit that tracks the heat and movement of a user’s urine stream”. The screen is placed above the urinals, so need to worry about awkwardly searching for it.

The entire set-up is controlled by motion. It begins when a dude walks up to the urinal to controlling the game by aiming his urine left, right or center. It also has online leader boards, optional Twitter integration and selected content from one of six “PTV” channels.

The system cleverly plays ads before, during and after a man has relieved himself, which typically takes about 55 seconds and is enough time for two decent length ads. In fact, the systems have already proved profitable for the bars and alcohol brands that currently use them. This includes the trial run at the Ta Bouche bar in Cambridge which, “saw 45% of the venue’s customers state they would definitely stay longer or return because of the system, while a Corona beer promotion advertised through the units saw sales rise 47%.”

Besides providing entertainment and boosting sales, the device also assists in keeping the bathroom clean. Since it was partially influenced by “the fly in the urinal at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam,” which was developed to help men aim better. The company that developed “the fly” discovered  “that washrooms employing their fly-printed urinals are 85% cleaner.”

Captive Media plans to expand their device across the UK in early 2012, but co-founder Gordon MacSween stated that “We have already had a huge amount of interest in the units from bars, pubs, exhibition centres and retail outlets across the country and overseas – even though we’ve been trying to keep a lid on it.”

So, what do you think. Would you be interested in playing a video game while taking a leak? Or, do you prefer to just do your business and get back to drinking?

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