Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/29/westminster_satlav_texting_service/

Spend-a-penny SMS service starts flowing

From sat nav to Sat Lav

By James Sherwood

Posted in Phones, 29th November 2007 14:50 GMT

If you’re caught short in central London tonight then just text Westminster Council (WC), because it has launched a loo-locating texting service.

Mobile-enabled geeks out on the pi** now need only text the word ‘toilet’ to 80097 and the service will text you back the street name of your closest water closet. The service is called Sat Lav and was designed by student Gail Knight.

A spokesperson for WC told Register Hardware that its service communicates with nearby mobile phone masts to triangulate your location. Sat Lav includes the details of 40 toilets and covers 8.5 square miles of Westminster.

We couldn't resist a try and so sent a text to Sat Lav. It's a good job we weren't bursting, because the reply took 7-10 minutes to arrive. And when it did come through, the exact location of the toilets were so vague that it would have taken us ages to find them. We'd have burst by then...

It’s not so much that Ken Livingstone has suddenly become an avid texter, but more because WC claims that 45,460 litres of urine is at risk from ending up on the city’s streets, thanks to those not willing - or unable - to wait.

The service is available now at 25p per text, a little more than spending a penny. Let's hope the money goes to building more outhouses.