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

Bees can do arithmetic, setting the scientific community abuzz

A new study has found something remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic. Researchers showed that bees could use colors as representations for numbers and then use those colors for addition and subtraction.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 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?
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.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Emerging Tech

DeepSqueak is a machine learning A.I. that reveals what rats are chatting about

Want to know what rats are squeaking about? You'd better check out DeepSqueak, the new deep learning artificial intelligence developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.
Photography

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.
Deals

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.
Emerging Tech

Baristas beware, Bbox cafe uses robots to brew your morning coffee

Want your morning coffee and pastry prepared by robot? Bbox, a new coffee shop in downtown Berkeley, California, lets customers place their order by app and then uses automation to take care of the rest.
Emerging Tech

This ridiculous new flamethrower makes Elon Musk’s look like a cigarette lighter

The XL18 Flamethrower is a flame-shooting beast on steroids, capable of firing off bursts of flame more than 110 feet in length. The best part? You can order it over the internet today.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX just nailed its most challenging Falcon 9 rocket landing to date

If you've been following the SpaceX launch calendar, you know this week marks the first launch from Cape Canaveral in two months. We have the details on where you can watch the launch live.
Emerging Tech

Touchdown! Japan successfully lands its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on asteroid Ryugu

Japan's space agency has just completed the latest stage of its extraordinarily complex mission, successfully landing its Hayabusa2 spacecraft on an asteroid millions of miles from Earth.