Writing about current events during the Coronapocalypse has been a bit of a slog, to say the least. I am constantly on the search for any story that isn’t about plague death or media malpractice. Prior to this I probably wouldn’t have gotten excited about a “smart toilet” story, but here we are, boys and girls:
— The Verge (@verge) April 9, 2020
A prototype smart toilet that can identify you by your “analprint” and monitor your trip to the loo has been created by researchers at Stanford University. It’s equipped with cameras and sensors that collect information on your bodily waste, and it uses that data to look for any health issues you might have.
The “analprint” is the toilet’s primary way of identifying each user. Much to the authors’ dismay, it’s also the aspect of the toilet that’s gotten the most attention since the paper describing the proto-toilet was published in a press release and the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on Monday.
“It’s a minor part of our system,” Seung-min Park, a senior research scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author, told The Verge.
Read on at the original source if you want to see how surrealist Salvador Dalí plays into all of this. I won’t quote it here because — despite my strong Beavis and Butthead humor leanings — I am trying to limit the number of times I use the “a” word and its variants in this post.
Never let it be said I don’t go the extra mile for you, dear readers.
More on how it works:
The real action happens after the person sits down, according to Park. Inside the toilet, there are cameras to capture images of the person and their waste, motion sensors to detect urine streams, and medical sensors to analyze what’s inside the excrement. To further distinguish an individual, the smart toilet also includes a fingerprint scanner on the lever.
All juvenile humor kidding aside — this is a fairly detailed and interesting article about the techonology.
OK, one last juvenile thing:
Participants’ stool was also classified using the “Bristol Stool Form Scale,”
I totally read that as “Bristol Farms Stool Scale,” and immediately thought, “Hippies are always weirding me out.” Also, I will warn you now not to read the paragraph that follows that.
Again, you’re welcome America.
Apparently, this isn’t a new idea. The tech is just catching up now. I am genuinely fascinated by the future of smart technology and health. I would rather have some near future, advanced way of self-diagnosing without having to go down the WebMD “You’re dying of everything!” rabbit hole or heading to a doctor’s office.
I’m just not sure if I’m ready to have my toilet start communicating with me.
PJ Media Senior Columnist and Associate Editor Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.”