December 2nd, 2011

Urinal video games give new meaning to streaming media

Urinal Video Game ConsoleStanding in front of the urinal and taking a pee in full view has now become even more competitive.

British company Captive Media has developed a games console for the urinal… controlled by the direction of your wee, rather than your Wii.

Captive Media describes it as the first “hands-free” video gaming console of its kind, although this ignores Japanese electronic games manufacturer SEGA’s foray into this area with a console that measures the volume of your wee.

Users can play a number of games on Captive Media’s console, including a skiing challenge and a multiple-choice pub quiz called “Clever Dick”. They activate and participate in the games by directing their wee at the “Start”, “Left” and “Right” labels in the urinal. The urinal games console detects where their urine is falling by means of an infra-red device.

The games console unit has a 12 inch LCD screen which sits behind toughened glass. So, it can withstand collateral damage and, thankfully, be easily cleaned.

Once users have finished, they can use their mobile phones to post their scores either on Twitter or on a live leader board, ideally after having washed their hands.

Urinal Dwell TimeAdvertisers looking for ‘dwell time’ may also find the console a compelling proposition. Trade paper Adweek calculates that, on average, men stand in front of the urinal for 55 seconds when they relieve themselves – nine months over the course of their lifetimes. In the UK this equates to a billion minutes worth of captive audience time a year.

When venues, such as bars or pubs, buy the product, they are given one quarter of the available advertising slots and a veto on the external slots available to third parties.

“It’s notoriously difficult for brands to engage a young male audience whilst they’re out socialising. Captive Media offers a long ‘dwell time’.” Gordon MacSween, Director, Captive Media

One organisation that has already signed up is Drinkaware, a charity that promotes responsible drinking.

TaBouche, a bar in Cambridge UK, hosted a four month “pre-trial launch” earlier this year. Captive Media claim that sales of the beer rose 42% on a like for like basis and TaBouche’s house shots sales rose 43% during this period.

The bar also noted that, during the trial, the toilets became markedly cleaner, as a new premium was set on aim and accuracy.

Captive Media plan to roll-out the console across selected bars from early 2012.



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