Forget tomorrow’s Super Bowl, you’ll soon have the chance to have fun with a bowl of a totally different kind. Thanks to a British company, those of us who are not into cottaging can now have fun when visiting public restrooms too. Captive Media has recently released a video system for playing games while you empty your bladder. The urinal mounted, urine-controlled game console designed to give men something else to play with while peeing in public will be giving the term ‘joystick’ a whole new meaning.
The recently released system is being called the first “hands-free” video gaming console of its kind. It features a hi-definition 12 inch LCD screen (sitting behind toughened glass so it can withstand collateral damage), fitted at eye level above the urinal, where it commands the full attention of the user. Well, at least the attention not being paid to what the guy next to you has got going on.
When not in use, the system plays a mix of advertisements. But when a user approaches, it flips into gaming mode, using patented technology to detect not only his presence, but the direction of his stream. The user is presented with three generous targets to aim for in the urinal: stickers in the unit that read ‘Start’, ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. The console is able to detect where the urine is falling by means of an infra-red device, the user controls the system by aiming their stream left or right.
A half dozen games, including Hosepipe Hero, are currently available with more on the way. Some are all about aim, other are multiple choice pub quiz games like Clever Dick, a ten question trivia knowledge challenge for those who like to think while they pee.
Adweek calculates that on average men are rooted to the spot for 55 seconds while they relieve themselves. That’s a billion wasted minutes a year spent eliminating waste – an ideal opportunity to hit users with targeted advertising in order to relieve them of cash later on.
“It’s notoriously difficult for brands to engage a young male audience whilst they’re out socializing,” says John MacSween, one of the developers of the system.
“It is allowing brands to really engage in a fun and memorable way,” his co-developer Mark Melford adds.
A pub in Cambridge hosted a pretrial launch earlier this year and generated some interesting findings. Results showed that 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 company is considering offering a modified version of their toilet game for women, though it would be mounted by hand dryers and geared toward giving the ladies something to do while waiting for a toilet to become available. There are “good anatomical reasons” that women can’t use the original device, MacSween says.
Multi-player versions are not part of the company’s plans as of yet.