Computational creativity and the future of AI

Gamers don't need to be a whiz to play new video game system


November 28, 2011

Captive Media is a urinal-based video game service, where male users control the game play...

Captive Media is a urinal-based video game service, where male users control the game play via their urine stream

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As any barkeep will tell you, the bar/pub industry is a very competitive one, with business owners taking every opportunity they can to attract clientele to their establishments. If the usual approaches such as cheap drinks aren't doing enough on their own, however, now there's something else that may help draw the customers in ... or at least, into the men's washroom. It's called Captive Media, and it consists of urinal-mounted video game systems, where men control the gameplay by changing the trajectory of their urine stream from side to side. Hey, whatever it takes to make your watering hole Number 1, right?

The system doesn't involve making any changes to the existing urinals, as everything is contained within waterproof modules that mount on the wall, at eye level. These units include a 12-inch HD LCD screen, a PC, a proximity sensor, and bottom-mounted sensors that track the position of the user's stream.

When not in use, the screen displays content such as advertising, which is supplied by the Captive Media company through a broadband internet connection. Once the module's proximity sensor detects a user, however, it switches to game mode. There are a number of games to choose between, which all have pee-oriented names such as On the Piste (a skiing game), Clever Dick (trivia) and Hosepipe Hero (firefighting).

Captive Media is a urinal-based video game service, where male users control the game play...

Game play and scoring go on for as long as the stream keeps coming, which would presumably encourage gamers to buy as many drinks as possible. Scores are also stored on a central server, so players can try to beat their peers (sorry), or their own previous scores.

Captive Media is currently lining up clients for its service, along with looking for advertisers and game developers. The system is presently being demonstrated at London bar The Exhibit, with a wider roll-out planned for early next year.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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