High-tech potty talk: Pee-and-play gaming system hits the toilet

Broadband, Internet-based system lets you pee and play, woman’s device on the way

captive media potty
Looking to capture that manly desire to aim and shoot at something, a British company has come up with a gaming system that well, lets men using a urinal actually aim at something and score points for peeing.  Well sort of.

The company, Captive Media, bills its new product as,"The world's first interactive, networked washroom gaming system... a urinal mounted, urine-controlled games console with hands-free control."

Thankfully, I think.

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Captive Media says its Internet-based system consists of an industrial PC with a 12" hi-definition screen, fitted at eye level above the urinal.   The PC stores and manages the presentation of content, which is delivered via a secure, broadband Internet link from Captive Media's hosted servers.

When not in active use, it plays a mixture of advertisements and other content. "When a user approaches, it flips into gaming mode, using what Captive calls patented technology to detect not only his presence ... but the direction of his stream. An infrared sensor system in combination with 'sophisticated algorithms' let the users then control the system by aiming their stream left or right," the company stated.

Users score points by directing their stream at a simulated downhill ski course and other games of "skill."

The company also presented some interesting facts about the urinal game system and men in general.

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Keeping in mind that without the system men reportedly spend 55 seconds in the bathroom, owners of the Capital beta site, Ta Bouche bar in Cambridge, England noted:

  • With the gaming system, 80% of customers surveyed said they were more likely to stay longer or return to the bar because of the system. 100% said they would (or had already) told friends
  • An 8-week promotion for house shots resulted in an extra 264 units being sold per week on average
  • A Corona beer promotion saw sales grow by an average of 203 units per week (a 47% increase)
  • Recall rates for promotions on the system were between 50-80%

The BBC reported on another beta site and found:

  • Some competitive gamers worked out that by stopping and starting their streams, they could improve their scores.
  • Another noted side effect was that the toilets became markedly cleaner, as a new premium was set on accuracy.

The BBC also noted that Captive Media want to roll out units for the ladies' toilets. "There are good anatomical reasons" that women can't use the original device," a spokesman said.

And it seems that these streaming games are all the rage.  An ABC report earlier this year notes that Japan's Sega also has a urinal/pee stream game.  From that report:  Toylet includes four games which use a pressure sensor on the urinal and connects to an LCD screen mounted on the wall above. The games include "Graffiti Eraser," which puts your aiming to the test to remove paint by pointing a hose in different areas. If aiming isn't your specialty, try "Mannekin Pis," it simply measures the strength of your stream. Another game, "The Northern Wind, The Sun and Me" involves the gamer playing as the wind where you try to blow a girl's skirt up.

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