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Urinal video games: coming soon to a toilet near you?15th of May 2013
Urinal video games are currently entertaining male washroom visitors at a US baseball stadium.
Each urinal at the Lehigh Valley IronPigs stadium in Pennsylvania features an individual screen that automatically senses when a man walks up to it. The urine stream begins the game and patented technology interprets elements of the stream while also testing the user's agility and knowledge.
While it is unclear how points are actually gained, the "players" can enter a code to view their rank on a leader board. Various boards throughout the baseball park display these rankings throughout the game, and visitors can check their ratings afterwards at home via the game's website.
The patented technology is the brainchild of British company Captive Media whose aim was to combine the twin goals of making washroom visits more fun while devising a new advertising medium for a captive audience.
The company's urinal video screens have already been installed in numerous bars, hotels and shopping centres - and some private addresses - around the UK and a handful are in operation in Europe. The Lehigh Valley installation is said to be the first in North America.
Each urinal system is costing $4,000, but this is being paid not by the baseball club but by the Lehigh Valley Health Network. It seems the concept has a serious side since ach video console alternates the games with public service announcements about the importance of being screened for prostate cancer.
"We think it's a great combination of fan entertainment and interaction," said general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies' minor league affiliate Kurt Landes. "There is also a great educational component to it."