Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/20/talking_urinal/
US drunks face abuse from talking urinal
Taking the piss
Drunks in Nassau County, New York, are advised that the traditional dash to the john, normally accompanied only by sighs of relief and cries of "jeez, that feels better" may in future be interrupted by public messages broadcast from talking urinals.
Safety officials in said county have bought 100 examples of Dr Richard Deutsch's "Wizmark Urinal Communicator" - a "waterproof, disposable drain cover embedded with electronics that senses a visitor and then relays an audio message".
The device boasts a proximity sensor which detects someone approaching "within about 30 to 60 centimetres". After a suitable pause to allow the customer to position himself, the Communicator gives forth with a "pre-recorded audio announcement".
It also comes complete with "nine-centimetre diameter display area containing a lenticular screen that features multiple images or text that, and as the person moves toward the urinal, they appear to change from one graphic to the other".
Oh yes, and it acts as a deodoriser, too.
As for the message, well, that will be something "promoting responsible drinking", which shows how the Communicator will simultaneously take the piss literally and figuratively.
For the record, no taxpayers were harmed during the acquisition of the Wizmark Urinal Communicator, since the purchase was funded "by fines from those caught driving while intoxicated". ®