'Toylets' games make a splash in Japan urinals

January 18th, 2011 in Technology / Other

Japanese toilets are famed for functions such as posterior shower jets and perfume bursts, but entertainment company Sega has gone a step further by installing urine-controlled games in Tokyo urinals.

Four types of "Toylets" games are available to be played during a test period ending this month at four male bathrooms in pubs and arcades, in a project aimed at drawing attention to digital adverts.

Each urinal is fitted with a pressure sensor, and a small digital display is placed at eye level. Digital adverts are shown after the games.

Games include "Graffiti Eraser" in which a user tries to aim at the in the urinal to erase virtual graffiti on the display.

Or there's "Mannekin Pis" -- named after a Brussels fountain depicting a urinating boy -- which measures the volume of the user's stream.

Another is called "The North Wind and The Sun and Me", in which the strength of a urine stream determines the extent to which a virtual girl's skirt gets blown up by a digital wind.

"Splashing Battle!" pits the user against the previous urinal user in terms of stream strength.

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First-time foreign visitors to are often baffled by the complexity of Japanese high-tech toilets, which feature computerised control panels, usually with Japanese language instructions as well as pictograms.

The "Toylets" will only be available at limited locations until January 31, "with no concrete plans to make them into actual products," said a Sega spokesman.

More information: toylets.sega.jp/index.shtml

(c) 2011 AFP

"'Toylets' games make a splash in Japan urinals." January 18th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-01-toylets-games-splash-japan-urinals.html