The PissPad is a canceled Kickstarter project, but before its future was flushed down the toilet, it promised to be the most fun you could have in a male public toilet—legally at least. The PissPad would sit in the bottom of any regular urinal, looking just like a plastic mesh drain cover. But inside the mesh were supposed to be detectors and a wireless radio that pinpoint the exact coordinates of where your urine stream hits and communicates them to your cellphone.
Why on earth? Games. Using PissPad, you could control a video game with your pee.
There are several obvious problems with using your own phone to play PissPad’s games. One is that, if you’re drunk enough to think that it’s a good idea, then you’re also too drunk to manage to pair your phone’s Bluetooth with the unit. Second, you’d probably end up dropping your phone into the urinal. The Kickstarter video shows a wall-mounted bracket that can hold your phone, but there’s no way I’d put my phone in some germ-soaked filth-hole. (Games include PissPad Football and a quiz game, Q and Pee.)
The PissPad isn’t the first in-toilet game system either. Back in 2013, at the Coca-Cola Park baseball stadium in Pennsylvania. There, video screens showing the game flip into console mode when a customer approaches, and a simple ski-run type game starts up. However, that system appears to use cameras to track the urine stream, rather than the pixel-perfect method used by the PissPad.
But probably more interesting than the PissPad itself are the results of the makers’ research on bathroom use around the world. When investigating the possibilities for female use, for example (possible by just dropping it into the bowl of a regular WC, but harder to play), the team discovered that “in various places on earth, women do their business standing up.”
Sadly, the PissPad may never come to be. According to the founders, the Kickstarter campaign was canceled because of a lack of funding. The technology, though, is open-source, so expect some advertising company to pick up on this in the future and bring new meaning to the phrase “live-streamed advertising.”
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