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Texts From Loo

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Texts From Loo

A smart toilet that tells you what to eat? That's a crappy idea


April 1, 2022
Smart toilet
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, your toilet is now able to text you suggestions to improve your diet, hopefully before you order lunch. | Illustration: Kit8 d.o.o. / stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the March/April 2022 issue of Pro Builder.

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.

 

Written By
Editorial Director

Rich Binsacca is editorial director of Pro Builder Media, Custom Builder, and PRODUCTS. He has reported and written about all aspects of the housing industry since 1987 and most recently was editor-in-chief of Pro Builder Media. rbinsacca@sgcmail.com

 

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