Pee-controlled urinal games heading for US after creator secures $700k in funding

thanks science no urine splashback urinals captive mediaWe first reported on Captive Media’s pee-controlled urinal-based video game technology exactly a year ago, with the firm at the time trialing them in UK bars to see if it’d make a splash with peeing punters there.

It evidently did. The latest news is that the firm has secured $700,000 in early-stage funding to help take the high-tech urinals beyond European shores, with a US launch likely at some point in the near future. 

The latest investment comes from six groups, including Cambridge-based technology fund Martlet and tech investor Mike Ullmann of Prodigy Finance.pee controlled urinal games heading for us after creator secures 700 in funding on the piste

The technology comprises a 12-inch LCD screen that fits just above the urinal and an infrared beam that detects the direction of a user’s pee. New urinals aren’t required, and few alterations are made to the existing ones, so it’s really just a matter of fitting the screens.

Clever Dick

As a visitor to the washroom approaches a urinal, an ad from one of its 12 ‘PTV’ channels begins playing on the monitor. Once the pee begins to flow, it automatically switches to gaming mode, allowing the urinator to engage in games such as Clever Dick and On The Piste using only the power of his pee.

“Sophisticated algorithms then allow the user to do something simple, but very engaging – controlling the system just by aiming their stream left or right,” Captive Media says on its website.

The games have been specially designed to prevent a player splashing outside of the bowl – indeed, the system ensures the majority of the delivery ends up inside the bowl, something that fails to happen all too often in some drinking establishments.

Score center

The system has proved so popular with the peeing public that its maker has even launched an online score center to show off the scores of the most skillful players.

Commenting on the success of the system, Captive Media co-founder Mark Melford said in a statement, “Since receiving a huge amount of media attention, we’ve been overwhelmed with enquiries from all over the world. People are responding to the fun, the interactivity and ‘talkability’ of our medium. Through the games and element of competition we’re really putting ‘social’ and outdoor media together for the first time.”

Bars, restaurants, hotels and airports are showing a keen interest in the urinal-based technology, while an increasing number of businesses are looking to advertise their wares on PTV.

“According to published research, the average visit time for a UK male is 55 seconds – equivalent to two standard TV ad slots,” its maker said, claiming that “test promotions with brands have resulted in sales spikes of over 40 percent.”

[via TheNextWeb]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

Did Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown fall victim to the Madden Curse?

Join us as we take a tour through the long-running history of the Madden Curse — and Tom Brady's recent accolades. We all know John Madden is a longtime NFL talent, but is he also an agent of dark forces?
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX experiences problem during test, Crew Dragon capsule may have exploded

SpaceX has experienced a problem during the testing of its Crew Dragon capsule. During the engine test firing at Cape Canaveral yesterday afternoon, an unspecified anomaly occurred which lead to plumes of smoke rising from the test site.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.