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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Electronic Toilet 405

BlueCup writes "The bathroom has been one of the few places people frequent where digital technology hasn't taken over. Most people use toilets more often than iPods, yet the humble American commode has remained as low tech as things get, essentially a combination of pipes, levers and flaps. Computers are now invading the bathroom. For several years, manufacturers have been quietly pushing toilets and toilet seats costing $1,000 or more that use small, built-in computers and remote controls to add new features that warm, wash and dry you. As bathrooms become more upscale and luxurious, a digital toilet fits right in."
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Electronic Toilet

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  • Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:51AM (#15967606) Homepage Journal
    Jeeeez, talk about flushing money down the drain....... :-)

    Seriously though, there are some things whose design has absolutely been optimized to a point where it would take a revolution in technology to make any changes worth while. Think about things like the doorknob, or a book, or a toilet seat, which arguably has been around since Roman times. Now you might say that technology has allowed an evolution of sorts in each of these examples, and that is true (mass production for the doorknob, printing presses, computer fonts and the Macintosh for books, and polymers for toilet seats), but each of these items works fundamentally the same as they have for hundreds of years such that a person from a hundred years ago could still recognize and interface with the device.

    Putting a computer on/in a toilet seat is...... *dare I say it?*....... asinine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jackbird ( 721605 )
      Think about things like the doorknob

      ...which is on its way out in the USA, due to the Americans with Disabilities Act

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ericdano ( 113424 )
        WTF. You serious? Why? If they can't open a freaking doorknob, what else can't they do? I mean, I'm all for ramps, hanicap parking and stuff, but there is a point where you just gotta say "look, you are going to need someone to do that for you".

        Of course, I also believe that California shouldn't have SPANISH on the ballots but whatever.......
        • Re:Asinine (Score:4, Informative)

          by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @10:25AM (#15969518) Homepage Journal
          WTF. You serious? Why? If they can't open a freaking doorknob, what else can't they do? I mean, I'm all for ramps, hanicap parking and stuff, but there is a point where you just gotta say "look, you are going to need someone to do that for you".

          Yep. If you haven't noticed, doorknobs are more and more being replaced by doors that push open, open automatically, or, nominally, by door handles that do not require grasping in order to turn them.

          The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes it very clear that you have to make accommodations for anyone with any sort of disability to get around. This includes replacing or augmenting doorknobs with other ways of opening doors because some people with severe arthritis, Parkinson's, mental handicaps, spinal cord injuries and some other disorders simply cannot turn a doorknob.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by The Snowman ( 116231 ) *

            Disabilities? Try turning a doorknob when your hands are full, for example, when carrying a box. Trust me, I moved three times so far this year. It's a pain in the ass. Door handles make this much easier. Just push down to turn, then walk forward. Works great. Also, handles are better than knobs if you're drunk.

    • by z4pp4 ( 923705 )
      Seriously though, there are some things whose design has absolutely been optimized to a point where it would take a revolution in technology to make any changes worth while.

      Think like a programmer! You can always improve the interface [] to be more user friendly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nmb3000 ( 741169 )
        Think like a programmer! You can always improve the interface to be more user friendly.

        Holy crap! (Pardon the pun). A few modifications and this thing [] could be your workstation chair. Really kick those coding marathons into high-gear!

        "Buy 50 cases of Bawls and get a GreatJohn office chair for half off!" Coming soon to ThinkGeek.
    • by clockwise_music ( 594832 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:15AM (#15967688) Homepage Journal
      >Most people use toilets more often than iPods.

      No shit.

    • by Anonymous Crowhead ( 577505 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:26AM (#15967715)
      If your defecation is so out of control that you need a $1000 toilet to help stay "fresh", then maybe you should address your diet. If everytime you have a sit down you end up with explosive shit-chunks plastered all over you nether regions, then SOMETHING IS WRONG. If you need a computer-assisted washdown, you are a sick animal. You need to get your fat ass out of the Taco Bell line and down to the produce aisle of your local grocery store, stat.

      This bidet garbage was invented when contaminated water gave everyone a daily dose of the runs. You should not need it today. If you do, you are unhealthy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by morie ( 227571 )
        actually, the bidet was not invented to wash your behind, but as a preservative, used to wash out semen after copulation and thereby prevent conception. It then developed into an asswasher.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Don't knock it until you try it. There's nothing like coming out of a bathroom feeling as clean as when you went in. Next we'll be sneering at people who use showers when they know darn well that they're just going to be dirty again by tomorrow. Despite all the things Americans have invented technology-wise, we're still Luddites compared to the rest of the world. Go figure.
      • Re:Listen up, people (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kraada ( 300650 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @05:05AM (#15968309)
        I suffer from Crohn's Disease [], along with approximately half a million other Americans. To summarize: Crohn's is an autoimmune disease of the digestive tract which causes inflammation in various places. When you have inflammation in your intestines, that part of the intestine cannot reabsorb liquid.

        I don't have a bad case. But there are some horror stories out there: people who have to go 10-20 times a day, people who end up needing permanent ileostomies (a surgical bypass of the end of the intestines), etc.

        Even with my relatively mild case, I have to take three Sitz Baths [] a day, two showers a day, and cleaning up after I go is not fun on top of that.

        This toilet seat? Sounds like it would be fantastic for me and others like me. It could probably save me 20 minutes a day, at least. If my health insurance covered it, or I could afford the thing, I'd buy one tomorrow. Seriously.

        And one in 350 people in America have this problem along with me. And the numbers are rising. (The disease was unheard of pre-20th Century -- not from lack of diagnostic methods, from lack of existing. There's a growth curve that is followed in developing countries; a Crohn's specialist I spoke to said that there are varioius studies underway to figure out what parts of our diet changed enough to create such an outbreak -- he hinted at processed sugar being a leading candidate. Unfortunately I lack a citation here, but the head of the Crohn's & Colitis center at Mass General seems like a pretty good source to me.)

        I can see these things selling very, very well if they can bring the price point down just a tad, or convince health insurance to cover it for people in scenarios like mine (even partially).

        So, yeah, I'm unhealthy -- but it's not my fault, and one of these things could make quite a difference.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jez9999 ( 618189 )
        Actually, I suspect the reason the French and the like need a bidet is because of the bizarre 'shit plinth' design of European toilets, which seems like a much more messy affair than UK/US toilets with water in the bowl. They should really make their toilet design more sensible, but noo... nous etes Francais!!!
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Belgand ( 14099 )
        A while back in Wired (I believe this was around '95-'97 or so) one of their standard features (Future Watch IIRC) consisted of brief blurbs from various relevant parties about technology that may or may not be available in the future and when (or if) they thought it would come to pass or become commonplace in the USA.

        One of the blurbs from this was about when bidets (and since it was Wired they're probably hoping we'll assume this means computerized auto-bidets such as seen in various Japanese models) has
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ajs318 ( 655362 )
        There is definitely something in that. I was talking to a woman friend a few years ago and she mentioned she was experimenting with reusable alternatives to sanitary towels and tampons. Natural sea sponges are good and absorbent but they're also made from dead animals; foam rubber artificial sponges are less absorbent; cotton terry towelling is bulky. The conversation eventually got turned around to "Could you eat a diet that gave you all the nutrients your body required and also eliminated, or at least
      • by wirefarm ( 18470 ) <> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:24PM (#15970624) Homepage
        I live in Japan and when we bought our apartment, they installed a new toilet and Toto washlet. I thought it a bit over the top at first, but now would miss it if I had to go back to a featureless seat.

        When they were first introduced I think in the mid 1970's, the first commercial showed a pretty girl squirting a big blob of blue paint across her hand and then trying to wipe it clean with tissue. For maximum shock value, they ran the commercials at dinner time and though there were plenty of complaints from viewers, the mental image stuck and sales took off. There was a really good program here in Japan called "Project X" on NHK that told the whole story of the development and engineering of the things, including how the engineers had to find "shameless" women willing to be measured for adjusting the spray and such...

        Another time, I saw an interview with "Kin-san" and "Gin-san" a pair of 100-plus-year-old twin sisters--they asked them what they thought was the most amazing technological advancement made during their lifetimes and they answered "heated toilet seats."

        The thing is, these things are a lot cleaner. As far as bathroom hygiene goes, the more clean people are decreases the chances of things like Escherichia coli infections, Cryptosporidium infections, Giardiasis, Shigellosis and Viral gastroenteritis. Not just you, but also the people who prepare your food, take care of you in the hospital, care for your children, anywhere there is human contact. Ever get a "24 hour stomach virus" or food poisoning? It's likely because someone who handled something that you ate didn't wash their hands after going "number two." In other words, you got sick because you ate their poo.

        So, where you can't imagine that anyone but an unhealthy, lazy slob might want one of these, perhaps it's just a matter of different priorities?
    • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aiken_d ( 127097 ) <(moc.yrtnegnat) (ta) (skoorb)> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:26AM (#15967720) Homepage
      I tend to agree with you. But then again, I'm sure that plenty of people said exactly the same thing when indoor plumbing replaced outhouses.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by WgT2 ( 591074 )

        Have you ever even seen an outhouse?

        Speaking of outhouses: I have two words for you black widows.

        • by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:54AM (#15967818) Journal
          Speaking of outhouses: I have two words for you black widows

          I'll see your black widows and raise you a redback

          Snakes and crocodiles aren't really that much of a problem in Australia; the spiders pretty much keep them in line.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Gli7ch ( 954537 )

            Pfft. Redback. I got bitten by one of when I was four and all that came of it was a few days off kindergarten and a whole backet of jellybeans... After I was rushed to hospital and delivered anti-venom.

            Lousy parents didn't take me to the hospital till the next freaking morning. Stupid irresponsible father.

    • Re:Asinine (Score:5, Informative)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:32AM (#15967731) Journal
      but each of these items works fundamentally the same as they have for hundreds of years such that a person from a hundred years ago could still recognize and interface with the device.
      Have you ever read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck?
      It was written in 1939, but set in the 1920's.

      The Joad kids lived on a farm all their life and have never seen a 'real' toilet and when they flush one, they actually thought they broke it. Steinbeck wasn't dramatizing anything, people in the 1920's (and even today) have never seen a flush toilet or any of the other marvels of technology that we take for granted.

      That said, I'd pay extra for a heated toilet seat, even without the retractable bidet and ass blow dryer. IMHO, that is more than an incremental improvement.
    • also known as the single knob faucet. What was wrong with double knob faucets? Nothing, but these mixer tap things are everywhere.
    • by Pseudonym ( 62607 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:45AM (#15967784)

      Perhaps more to the point, a toilet is the classic example of something that is mission critical. Sometimes safety critical, I'd suppose. It has to work under all sorts of conditions (e.g. power outage/flat battery) where it's not a huge deal if other devices like the iPod don't work.

      The simplicity of a toilet is one of its strengths. Less can go wrong because there's less to go wrong.

      • And yet toilets clog or overflow with some regularity (particularly if you eat at Denny's a lot). I wouldn't mind a computer-assisted toilet that could identify an address plumbing problems on its own. I also wouldn't mind if it detected a buildup of the ewww-nastiness and cleaned itself once in a while.
      • Re:Asinine (Score:4, Informative)

        by Grab ( 126025 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @05:37AM (#15968379) Homepage
        Actually American flap-operated toilets are over-simplified. It's very easy for the flaps to fail open or to leak, and a shitload of water (or more accurately, many shitload-disposals'-worth of water) gets wasted because of this.

        UK toilets use a siphon-operated system instead. Push the lever down, it sucks water round the top of the siphon, and the cistern empties using that siphon effect. The great thing with that is that it simply *can't* leak (unless you manage to get a hole in the pipe, which is majorly unlikely).

      • by Gleng ( 537516 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @06:28AM (#15968486)
        Crappy The Toilet Brush: It looks like you need to go to the toilet. Would you like to a) Urinate or b) Defecate?

        John Q. Toiletuser: Just lift the damn lid, I'm busting!

        Crappy: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your response. Would you like to a) Urinate or b) Defecate?

        John: Oh Jesus! Err..."Defecate"

        Crappy: Please answer "a" or "b". Would you like to a) Urinate or b) Defecate?

        John: For fuck's sake! "B" *winces in pain from the stomach cramps* OW! HURRY!

        Crappy: You chose to defecate. Thank you. Would you like me to pre-warm the seat? Yes/No?


        Crappy: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your response. Please answer "yes" or "no".

        John: NO!

        Crappy: You selected "no". The seat will not be pre-warmed. Will you require a) Durable toilet paper, or b) Extra soft toilet paper.

        John: ARRGH! I don't care! It's on the move! Umm...err..."b"


        John: "DURABLE" THEN!

        Crappy: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your response. Please answer "a" or "b".

        John: ...ack...

        Crappy: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your response. Please answer "a" or "b".

        John: Forget it. It's too late. "CANCEL". I'll have try my luck with the shower and the washing machine.

        Crappy: I'm sorry, I didn't understand your response. Please answer "a" or "b".

    • by Gooba42 ( 603597 )
      Most toilet clogging happens with toilet paper involved. If there's any trouble to be had with a toilet, this is it and eliminating that last bit of trouble from it sounds like a good thing.

      I don't have the cash for it now, but if I did I would definitely look into this sort of device.

      How much is it worth to you never to have to use the plunger again?
    • by Eivind ( 15695 )
      Actually, those items may have the best design currently possible for a reasonable price, but none of them are anywhere *CLOSE* to an optimal design. Let's take the good old book as an example. Here's a short list of changes that would be improvements, and that are, as far as I know, perfectly possible, only technology ain't there yet, atleast not for a reasonable price.
      • Books are to heavy. An book working exactly like todays books, but at 1/3rd the weigth would be an improvement.
      • Books are to thick. Storin
    • a revolution in technology

      like the 3 seashell thing?
  • Moo (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chacham ( 981 ) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:53AM (#15967612) Homepage Journal
    And the warm water, once we got the temperature right, was also a luxurious twist on the normal bathroom experience.

    The bathroom experience?

    I'd rather see Larson's idea of a big light over public bathroom doors: "Didn't wash hands!"
    • Re:Moo (Score:5, Interesting)

      by megaditto ( 982598 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:36AM (#15967746)
      Don't underestimate the importance of the restroom experience. How about this:
      -a moistened TP dispencer (for when the 'roids start acting up) w/ antiseptic
      -armrests and an executive leather ergonomic backrest
      -a webcam with a UV spotlight to examine for traces of fecal matter (battle the 'klingons')
      -a penile/scrotal 'cupholder' (hate when 'it' touches the cold porcelain)
      -a control to adjust seat angle and elevation
      -negative-pressure air exhaust for the toiletbowl (why do I have to smell it?)
      -surround sound and dimmer lights (pooping in the dark could be a wild adventure (This Disney's Pirate Cave boatride!))
      -neon pool lighting (aesthetically pleasing fishbowl; combine with dimmer lights et webcam)
      -a timer/bestOf scoreboard!
      -a shotgun rack and a Peltier beer cooler (hate the compressor fridge noise).
      -stall doors that freaking go all the way to the floor!
      • Re:Moo (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @02:38AM (#15967939) Journal
        - you can already get moistened TP dispensers. There's one problem with these - they're expensive. I'd rather see that more places (restaurants, etc.) start using the toilet seat cover dispensers as found in any airport (well, not Schiphol - where they want you to wet some toilet paper and scrub.. arguably better) and airplane

        - armrests? aren't you supposed to hold part of your body, at least if you're male, to make sure you're not just going to flop all over the place with that thing? And what when you want to wipe your ass? Just for kicks, try making that motion while seater in your chair with armrests. And a leather backrest? Would that be built into the toilet lid? If so - how do you handle flushing with the lid closed? ( presuming you flush with the lid closed - unless you love the spray of course )

        - klingons / dingleberries? if you miss one of those, you probably didn't wipe well enough - do you really need a webcam to see where you need to wipe some more? Scary. You're never going to get it 100% clean.. if you could, you wouldn't have a particular need change underwear every day. Fact is, you're going to leak more pee than you'll have to worry about with poo.

        - penile/scrotal cupholder just sounds like an STD-spreading device. The solution to not having your penis or scrotum hit the porcelain is to get a decent bowl - sounds like the one you've dealt with/are dealing with is far too shallow. Either that or you're just very, very well-endowed; congratulations ;)

        - seat angle and elevation.. now this one I can get into, but mostly due to the fact that the elderly can't sit all the way down on typical toilet seats easily - so you can get taller ones for them. While at the same time, what parent hasn't had to hoist their kid up onto the toilet? Now if you could make it alter elevation, that would indeed be cool. It'd also be a bit more difficult to manage with regards to flushing-as-we-know-it, though

        - you don't have to smell the toilet, typically.. unless you live in Europe and still have an older style bowl where your faecal matter just rests in a small puddle before getting flushed ('observation deck' bowls), you'll have one where all that stuff goes into a deep body of water where no odor can escape. Presumably you'd also have some manner of perfumed flush block thingy in there to keep whatever diluted smell of urine covered.

        the remainder of the list is just getting silly.. why no HD TV? fold-out laptop with broadband internet? make the seat double as a massage chair and shoepolish station! Let's leave it at it being a restroom, please :)

        That said, there have been advances even in recent decades as far as the toilet seat goes. e.g. from the 'observation deck' style to the deep bowl style, and from a regular gravity-does-it-all flush to a gravity+jet-flush, from one-flush-fits-all to the water conserving dual-flush-capacity tanks, etc. Maybe they're nowhere near as cool as an elevation-controllable toilet, but they're worthy progressions nevertheless.
  • Go ahead (Score:3, Funny)

    by wickedsteve ( 729684 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:54AM (#15967614) Homepage
    Get your self a fancy shmancy hi tech toilet. I will stick with my old school mechanical toilet. And when the nukes and EMPs hit us, I will be the only one with a decent place to take a crap.
    • Re:Go ahead (Score:5, Funny)

      by Patrik_AKA_RedX ( 624423 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:47AM (#15967790) Journal
      You're asuming your toilet wouldn't be right in the center of the explosion. I mean if I would attack your country, the first thing I'd do is a full out asssault on every toilet. Then food drops followed by food-with-laxative drops. All that is left then is to wait until every soldier blows up because of the need and inability to go. Then the survivers get to clean the whole mess up in exchange for toilet priveledges. Trust me, they'll be very eager at this point.
      All that then is left is a nation wide Wash-Your-Hands-Campagne.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:55AM (#15967616)
    Most people use toilets more often than iPods

    I can't remember the last time my iPod used the toilet...
    • "I can't remember the last time my iPod used the toilet..."

      A friend of mine peed on his iPod.. but I don't think that's enough to contradict the statement.
    • by jkrise ( 535370 )
      Q: What do toilets and iPods have in common?
      A: Both are used for downloading crap!
  • Power outages (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:55AM (#15967618) Journal
    Back in May where I live, there was a severe storm that knocked out power for, depending on where you live, 12-72 hours. Being without power in the black of night with rain pounding on my windows and having to navigate with a flashlight made me realize how thankful I am that the toilet DOES NOT depend on electricity.

    Please folks, make sure the technology makes you better off than before.
    • by TigerPaw ( 986058 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:04AM (#15967650) Journal
      Being without power in the black of night with rain pounding on my windows and having to navigate with a flashlight made me realize how thankful I am that the toilet DOES NOT depend on electricity.

      And when lights came on, you realized that it wasn't the toiletseat you were sitting on...
    • by kihjin ( 866070 )
      You can't just deny technological progress by claiming the status quo is sufficient! Horses and buggies were "sufficient" at one point too!

      The obvious solution for a power outage is to purchase a dedicated backup power generator. If you lose power, the Toilet will switch to "battery."

      See? Problem solved.
      • Wouldn't that result in a few toilets with bad batteries exploding?
      • Re:Power outages (Score:4, Insightful)

        by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:33AM (#15967736) Journal
        If you're making a subtle joke about the quixoticity of installing a whole dedicated backup battery generator, just so your toilet can use electricity, good one.

        If you're serious, well, that's going to far. All I want is for there to be some decoupling from the electrical aspect. For example, in the storm, I could still open my garage because it has a backup cord with which I can manually lift it open. Likewise, for the toilet, the plumbing could be run as now, with just the unnecessary electrical parts separate. But I just get the funny feeling that some moron is going to design it so that you literally *can't flush* merely because you lost power.
    • made me realize how thankful I am that the toilet DOES NOT depend on electricity.

      Being the owner of a fancy Japanese toilet in a fancy new Japanese flat, much to my dismay I have discovered that the loo doesn't actually flush in the event of a power cut! There's a remote-control flush with a back-up handle, but if you turn the power off (as my wife did shortly after we moved in, forgetting to inform me that she had or even where the ON switch was) the flush handle no longer does anything for some reason th

    • Re:Power outages (Score:4, Informative)

      by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @02:52AM (#15967987)
      I think you're kidding but....

      I'm quite sure you can use the toilet if the power is off. It just won't be warm and wash your butt for you. I'm pretty sure as well that most people who own one will still keep toilet paper or tissues in the bathroom.

      Given that these things are everywhere in Japan (and bidets have been around in europe for half a century at least), I don't see what the big deal is. Some people like to be squeaky clean, and have some cash to spare. I can think of lots of more frivolous ways to spend a few hundred bucks.
  • Japan? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24, 2006 @12:58AM (#15967629)
    I was just in Tokyo and all the toilets in nice places are heated and (you have the option to) squirt warm water up your crack... Not news.
    • washlets are better (Score:2, Informative)

      by m4c north ( 816240 )

      Yes, here in Japan the 'washlet' is very popular. You'll find it in most department stores, restaurants, and houses. However, in train stations and public spaces, you'll find the opposite end of the spectrum: washiki - the squatter. It's arguably the cleanest since you don't actually touch anything (no seat, no bum sweat residue, no stray hair, ...). The first go is a challenge though: a delicate balance between, well, balance and positioning.

      I prefer the 'dirty' washlets.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bega ( 684994 )

      High-tech toilets aren't always very fun.

      I had the questionable honor of getting to experience a 40C degree fever and a very liquid and fiery diarrhea, while being in Hiroshima. So, after a day of being half dead, I decided to go to the hospital. While I was waiting to get in to the doctor's office, I decided to go to the toilet.

      It was one of those high-tech toilets. The seat was awfully warm, but it was all good since I was freezing my ass off because of the fever, anyway. So, I took my dump, or w

  • Broadband. (Score:5, Funny)

    by EnsilZah ( 575600 ) <EnsilZah@ G m a i l . com> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:00AM (#15967636)
    Get your broadband enabled toilets today for a quicker download.
    • Forgot to mention it's speficially designed for Pee-er-to-Pee-er use.
    • by kihjin ( 866070 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:14AM (#15967684)
      Actually, it's not the "down stream" of water we need to worry about. It's the Quality of Shit we want to "upload."

      Basically, the waterco's want to charge us depending on the types of poo we upload.

      Larger poo clogs the infrastructure. Where will these companies acquire the funding to upgrade it? They have no choice but to charge the source of the "content." People like you and me.

      Time to buy more apple cider. Save the Toilets!
  • Oh Shit! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 )
    it's the Blue Plunger of Death!
  • by bblboy54 ( 926265 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:03AM (#15967643) Homepage
    I've had webcams in bathr.....
    Nevermind, nothing to see here.
  • by localman ( 111171 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:03AM (#15967645) Homepage
    First off, a warning: this post may have too much information. That said...

    Anyone here ever use one of those toilets with the built in ass washer? I visited Seoul a few years back and stayed with in-laws. Their toilet had a little control panel with various symbols on it for male, female, water, wind (no earth or fire, thankfully). I feared it for most of my visit, and never tried it out. Eventually though curiousity got the better of me and i pressed a button after I was done (male water). It made few little mechanical sounds and then a tiny sprayer started shooting warm water into my ass crack. It was so ticklish that I just about jumped off the seat; fumbling around with the controls to get it to stop. Eventually I succeeded, but man that was weird. Despite any potential improvement in hygene, I can't handle the ass tickling fountain thing. But hey, I say try it out sometime if you have the chance.

    • Too much informative :-P
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )
      In many foreign countries, because of the bidet, the plumbing isn't designed to handle wads of toilet paper being flushed.

      When I was much younger, I found the idea of water squirting at my ass weird and as a consequence, ended up using the plunger quite frequently.

      Eventually, I grew up and got over my fear-of-things-that-are-different and had no more trouble while traveling overseas. Once you get used to it, it's no big deal & is a bit more hygenic than wiping your ass with paper.

      Hopefully that wasn't t
      • It takes a long time in the shower to remove any trace of crap-funk in my ass, even using an unlimited supply of water and soap. Why would a tiny dribble of water be remotely effective?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by bangenge ( 514660 )
          it's not just a tiny dribble. it's in fact an adjustable spray of water. note to everyone: don't try to go and set it to the max pressure immediately. and in case if you're still wondering if it's effective, up to a certain point, it is. with that said, you better watch your diet otherwise you're gonna have a really messy time.
  • Just look out for the Bad Smell of Dookie when this shit hits the "C-P-U" fan (literally).

    Anyone want to work on a Toilet Linux? Toilux?

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:08AM (#15967663) Journal
    Geek 1: I heard you were in hospital. What happened?
    Geek 2: My computer froze then fried my penis.
    Geek 1: Oh well at least it wasn't anything vital
    Geek 2: Normally yeah, but I'd just signed up for 2 years of
    • LMAO,

      reminds me of a joke....

      A man traveling by plane was in urgent need of a restroom facility. But each time he tried, it was occupied. The flight attendant, aware of his predicament, suggested he use the attendant's ladies room, but cautioned him not to press any of the buttons.

      There next to the paper roll were four buttons marked: WW WA PP ATR. Making the mistake soooo many geeks make out of curiosity, he disregarded what she said when his curiosity got the best of him. He carefully pre

  • You always here about this sort of crazy Japanese shit. But do the Japanese really buy this crap in any sort of volume?
  • Vapooh-rize it... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:09AM (#15967665) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, where is the solid/liquid waste sanitizer that will be self-cleaning, self-disposing, etc.... I'd love to pay a little more on electric bill and get rid of my sewage costs and reduce my water needs... make it a recycling unit that outputs fertilizer for my yard even better (after blasting it with UV rays of course), maybe even mixing it in to a cistern of water that is used to feed my sprinklers with an herbicide pellet thrown in once a month to boot.

    Where's my smart house that is smart about everyday things... forget the 'avatar' that tells me stock prices or whatever, just make it a more efficient house please.

    • I'd love to pay a little more on electric bill and get rid of my sewage costs and reduce my water needs...

      You're obviously not a victim of California and their refusing to pay for the electricity they didn't pay for after they unanimously voted that they would pay for electric at any price. Electric's spendy near but not in California thanks to that fuckup. Would be nice if when California screws up, only Californians are screwed, instead of everybody in a 1000 mile radius of California that isn't in Ca

  • Moo (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chacham ( 981 ) * on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:10AM (#15967668) Homepage Journal
    I welcome Gnu inventions, that help with free time.

    I means, it's used in the stall, man.

    Better that you nix the rest of this post. before it gets really bad.
  • As bathrooms become more upscale and luxurious, a digital toilet fits right in.

    No, no it doesn't.
  • Mmmm, yeah... I'm not in the habit of taking technology worth thousands and SHITTING IN IT.
  • At least it is not a Zero Gravity Toilet []!!


  • The Toilet... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by monoqlith ( 610041 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:25AM (#15967714)
    is the most evolved piece of human machinery, if you measure evolution in the years it has existed in any form at all. Contrary to popular belief, cleansing your colon into a hole is the world's oldest occupation, not prostitution. You might have thought it was prostitution, but you are wrong. It's making cleveland steamers in a ditch.

    So I'm confused about this article. On the one hand, I'm pretty sure nobody's made any noticable improvements to bathroom equipment (toilet paper, plungers, sink, soap, etc) for however many years because maybe, dare I say it, it's one of a select few pieces of technology that we have that's done, perfect, finito in a design sense. It's reached a critical point of punctuated equilibrium in its development. All change after this point is slow and arbitrary.

    This may of course be shortsighted, but I think this is a good thing. I for one don't like to think about releasing the hostages(although, like anyone, I find it momentarily pleasing when it happens) or even attach all that meaning to it, and so the fact that the current equipment renders the process as unceremonious, functional and utilitarian makes everything in the room just what it should be: perfectly forgettable. I think baking the brownies is gross, and so now that we have mastered our bathroom thrones we can move onto a prettier stage in human evolution: the one where we forget about our logs.

    On the other hand, perhaps innovation in the bathroom should continue. I know there are plenty of embarassing things that happen in public bathrooms. Urinal separators could stand some improvement, and toilet paper dispensers need to be more automated and less frustrating when the roll runs out. I know it's really agonizing when you have been sitting there for ten minutes, you are missing a meeting or are in the middle of an exam, you have one sheet of two ply left to split among your cheeks, and you can't get the f-ing next roll to come down so you can squeegee your butt and skidaddle. Perhaps someone can innovate on noise blockers so someone with gastrointestinal stress won't have to wait till everyone who heard their noise pollution(or smelled their olefactory pollution) to leave before exiting stage front out of the stall and washing their hands. Boy those are some awkward moments

    But one thing's for sure: whoever comes up with a successful, widely applicable way to improve bathroom technology is a genius. And to that person: please come along soon and making sinking the Bismarck even more enjoyable.

    I have to take a crap.
  • Do you get a BSOD?
    (Brown Shit of Death)
  • I read the article and the author seemed to have trouble saying, "why in the world would you buy this?" And really.... is a heated toilet seat with a built in bidet worth at least $800? He says the dryer on it is worthless. I wonder why they wouldn't have linked to a review of a techy seat that actually worked? The seat isn't worth the money and the article says so. B-O-R-I-N-G

    I live in a town that is 80% Portuguese and so many homes have bidets in them. You don't need a seat that will only allow wate
  • Go to Japan sometime (Score:3, Informative)

    by dido ( 9125 ) <{hp.muirepmi} {ta} {odid}> on Thursday August 24, 2006 @01:45AM (#15967780)

    Most everything is high-tech, including the john. That is if you've got a western-style toilet. Many of the nice places automatically turn on a seat warmer and exhaust fan as soon as you sit down, and there are a number of buttons there which spray jets of water at your anus to wash it, and some others that I'm afraid to try... However, if you have one of them Japanese-style toilets [], God help you if you need to take a dump...

  • Now, while it was funny when Iliad did the initial [] joke in UserFriendly, it's not so funny now...

    What WON'T they computerize these days?
  • Why does the term "core dump" come to mind?

    Sorry, couldn't resist! :)
  • I'm sure I'm not the only one who has dubbed their laptop the "Squatbook Pro"
    It's my preferred way of reading /. and as a matter of fact yes... I am on my Squatbook at this very moment.
  • []

    From Palo Alto in 1999.... ""Early e-toilets forced users to keep a lot of windows open, so e-dumpers lacked the kind of privacy you want while doing your business," said designer Peter Cheng, a self-described "whiz kid"

  • by rhythmx ( 744978 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @04:21AM (#15968205) Homepage Journal
    I moved to Tokyo on business a few months ago, and (to my surprise) there were electronic controls on all the toilets in the office. Features include:
    • deoderant fan
    • bidet on/off
    • bidet aim
    • water pressure
    • seat warmers

    I've come to find that these are actually quite common here too.. see []
  • by AriaStar ( 964558 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @04:57AM (#15968294) Journal
    I have a friend in Ohio whose iPod took a shit earlier this year. By last count, I's sure she has taken at least that many in the last day. So yeah, does use the toilet more than her iPod. And mine has never used it. Unless it's sneaking around behind my back.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday August 24, 2006 @08:50AM (#15968900) Journal
    Our verdict? While some features of the Swash 800 made our sit-down experience more of a luxury, we were unconvinced by its bidet-like cleaning and drying process.

    Most Asians consider wiping with paper not hygenic enough. Must wash with liberal quantities of water to be clean and to feel clean. In India and Middle East the recent toilets have a simple non-digital non-electronic bidet like attachment. It dispenses a horizontal stream of water from behind. In India it is quite common to see a hand shower attachement next to the flush tank.

    Only left hand should be used for washing. So the left hand is considered to be unclean and it is considered very disrespectful to give/accept something from someone using the left hand, in the Middle East and India.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.