A few months ago, The Wall Street Journal’s weekend edition featured “The Loo of the Future,” an article headlined by a whizbang toilet that—in addition to its traditional functions—serves as a health-monitoring device that texts users with recipe suggestions to help balance their diet.
I get enough unwanted texts, even from people I love. The last thing I need is one from “Loo” telling me to mix in a salad or that I eat too much cheese. Plus, how quickly does Loo get around to “gathering data” and concocting a menu for my next meal? Hopefully by lunchtime, or else the advice (and the $428 I paid for it) is pointless. And will future upgrades enable Loo to alert my doctor (and maybe a plumber) of my excessive carb intake and penchant for peanut butter?
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At some point, I imagine Loo will get fed up with my Oreo obsession and simply order more suitable ready-to-eat meals right to my doorstep, eliminating the defiant middle man. Actually, I may be down for that if I can manually override kale for kettle chips.
The other “smart” bath products espoused in the WSJ article include a $2,700 tub that fills to my desired depth and temperature on voice command and a $2,640 mirror that allows me to make video calls, stream ESPN’s Top 10, and get makeup tips on its touch-screen, motion-activated surface.
Truthfully, I can’t remember the last time I used a bathtub (much less fretted over the water’s depth or temperature), and, knowing my inclination to overestimate things, I’d probably order up a scorching-hot cauldron and boil myself alive. As for the mirror, I usually avoid face-timing—especially if my mug is beet-red from soaking in a lava-hot tub. And if the mirror activates simply by walking past it, I’m sure it would scare the crap out of me ... though Loo might like that. I sense a conspiracy.
Besides, the mirror I have is already interactive, evidenced by the crudely drawn smiley faces and misshapen hearts I leave for my wife on its steamed-up surface, which I’m not sure she entirely appreciates when she cleans the bathroom. Imagine if I dialed up a makeup tutorial as a not-so subtle suggestion, or forgot to reset Wordle. That would elicit some interesting interaction!
Other “brainier bathroom” fixtures and fittings in the WSJ article include a faucet that regulates flow for optimal handwashing (I’m picturing a 2.0 version with integral handcuffs that release only after singing “Happy Birthday”), and a $12,000 shower system that damn well better do all of the work (and I mean all of it) for that kind of coin.
No, I’ll stick with my bathroom as-is, thank you very much. I’m sure I can find a way to live without Loo … or guilt, shame, blistered skin, a spouse’s wrath, and all of the apps required to enable it. That seems pretty darn healthy to me.