What do you get when you combine Google’s Android operating system with with Arduino, the open source protocol for building interactive hardware? A device that lets foursquare users check into a venue by peeing on a stick!
This urine sensing system is fondly referred to as Mark You Territory. It sounds like a joke, but the designer isn’t just taking the piss.
“While many may consider this project rather ridiculous, the project is based upon an underlying design theory of embedding physical/natural systems into digital works,” writes the creator, Andrew Quitmier. “A dog urinating on a tree, for instance, leaves not only the information that a specific animal had been to a place, but also data concerning the creatures physiology, stature, frequency of visits, and mood.”
Humans who check into a venue on foursquare think they are claiming that space, but even the mayor is only master of that place’s virtual identity. All the humans not on foursquare—plus all the animals around—don’t have a clue! Mark Your Territory uses a mouisture sensing circuit to note how much you peed and the PH of your stream.
Dennis Crowley tweeted out a link to the project’s Instructable’s page with the note. “Hmm..ok. CC any dogs with foursquare accounts.”
With the Change the Ratio crowd in mind, Mr. Quitmeyer also notes that, “Some of my oppenents maydeclare this project as “sexist design” and that females can’t/won’t use this system. I think this proves otherwise. Females can also use the device in a squatting manner, with the aid of a peripheral such as the go-girl (www.go-girl.com), or by studying the standing techniques discussed in “A Woman’s Guide on How to Pee Standing Up” .