Gotta Go? iPhone App Tells Moviegoers When to Pee

iPhone tells moviegoers when to pee

Soda. Coffee. Water. Next time to you go to the movies, chug 'em all down.

As long as you have a new iPhone app by your side, you'll know when you can escape to the bathroom without missing the best parts.

Approved by Apple's App store earlier this week, RunPee (yes, really) promises to be the small-bladdered moviegoer's best friend.

The application features all the movies currently playing in theaters and tells users approximately how far into the movie each "pee time" begins, the cue line to listen for and even what they've missed. (When you're on your way back to your seat, you can hit a button to unscramble text that provides a short synopsis.)

Idea Inspired by Three-Hour 'King Kong' Re-Make

"The idea came from watching King Kong the re-make in 2005," said Dan Florio, RunPee's creator, referring to Peter Jackson's marathon three-hour blockbuster. Throughout much of the movie, he said, he was desperate to relieve himself.

"I kept thinking, I wish they would just kill this ape so that I could get to the men's room," he said.

Like a good fan, he waited until the end, but not without noting a good three-minute sequence he could have done without.

"I just could have gone to the men's room during the scene and I could have enjoyed the end of the movie and the movie would have been better," the Orlando, Fla. developer said.

When he walked out of the theater and saw the lines of people waiting to get into the theater, he wanted to share his secret. But being a bit bashful, he kept it to himself.

The idea stayed in remission until August 2008, when he launched RunPee.com.

He said he's watched about 80 percent of the movies to scout out the best "pee times," but added his family has helped. And anyone who's interested can submit ideas to the site.

In January of this year, he partnered with brothers John and Sam Shahidi, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer, to work on the iPhone app. Download figures aren't available yet, but Florio said traffic to the site has jumped from about 30 unique visitors a day last year to about 3,500 visitors a day.

Although the app is only available for iPhone owners in the U.S., John Shahidi said the plan is to expand to India, China and Australia.

"The iPhone is in 80 countries, so we have to be in 80 countries," he said.

Now, users can set a timer so that they can keep track of the time until the next "pee time," but the developers said that future versions will prompt the iPhone to vibrate at the appropriate time.

And there are myriad other programs (apps for short) taking advantage of the growth of wireless handheld devices. The names range from Financer to iFitness to Dog Whistle to, well, you get the idea.

Have a need? Someone out there is trying to fill it now, quickly, with almost no effort (and little or no upfront cost) on your part.

But as the market grows, so do the possibilities. Here's a small sampling:

Dunkin' Donuts Goes High-Tech

Thanks to the iPhone, coffee runs are now easier than ever.

In June, Dunkin' Donuts launched an application for the iPhone and Web that helps organize and automate group orders.

Using their computers and mobile devices, customers can initiate orders through 'Dunkin' Run' and alert friends and colleagues that they are willing to be the "Runner."

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