back to article Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

Dear reader, I am in a state of shock and horror. That’s right - I have attempted to use a Japanese electric toilet in the manner for which it was designed. I fear my rear may never recover. Your correspondent is currently in Tokyo for Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum 2016 and is staying in an excellent, if, for the purposes of …

Page:

  1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    We have one

    We have one, but in our own bedroom, not for the use of guests. When one of our children came to stay recently she decided to investigate. She came downstairs with water all down her and announced "I've found out what the remote control on your loo does. Don't worry, I've cleaned up the water."

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: We have one

      Not sure what problem an electro-bog is trying to solve?

      I'll admit that those of us blessed with XX chromosomes may well find a post-loo wash useful, particularly at certain parts of the lunar cycle. But if that really - ahem - floats your boat - ahem - then buy a bidet.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: We have one

        it's more hygenic then smearing sh*t all over your arse with a piece of paper you hold in your hand. It's also kinder on the sanitation plant, as they only have to deal with water (and your excrement) rather than giant wads of paper mache!

        There's two reasons for you...

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: We have one

        "But if that really - ahem - floats your boat - ahem - then buy a bidet."

        I guess you live in the US. In the UK (more so in Japan) many bathrooms are too small for a bidet. We had one till we wanted a bigger shower, and something had to go. Eliminating an appliance saves pn space and cleaning.

        1. Tikimon Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: We have one - Room too small?

          You can purchase a bidet unit that mounts on your existing toilet. I recently got one on Amazon for $50 US. Thought we should try it out,since they're rare in the US. We're quite liking it and plan to install one in the guest bath.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We have one

          Eliminating an appliance saves pn space and cleaning.

          Crank up the pressure and the electric toothbrush can go too :).

          I must admit that the complexity of these interfaces puzzles me. Wouldn't it be simpler to make a "1" and a "2" button, possibly adorned with some explanatory graphic graphics? Maybe the luxury version could add turbo buttons recycled from 90s PCs for the more challenging work instead of simply running the relevant, but for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one, so to speak, although I don't want to speculate where the ribbon would feature :).

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Bidet???

            How in the world is having a separate bidet better than building that functionality into the toilet which is already taking up space and already has the connection to the sewer line? Though I have an ahem 'bog standard' toilet, I have seen bidet seats that can retrofit onto almost any toilet for $250 and up. Surely installing a bidet costs more than that, when you consider the additional plumbing work, even if you have the space. If you lived in a mansion with a bathroom larger than the typical living room and money is no object I still can't see any reason whatsoever why you'd want a standalone bidet!

            One problem with the retrofit bidet seat is that for the IMHO non-negotiable functions like heating the water it is spraying most people would need a new electric line run as it isn't common to have an outlet next to your toilet. At least not in the US. I suppose if you were some sort of neanderthal OK with ice cold water (or living in such a tropical locale that tap water is lukewarm year round) a very simple model could be made to cost less than $50, with a mechanically operated on/off valve.

            Once you have electricity run anyway I guess you might as well have a heated seat, though a blow dryer might be taking things just a bit too far!

            1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Bidet???

              If you lived in a mansion with a bathroom larger than the typical living room and money is no object I still can't see any reason whatsoever why you'd want a standalone bidet!

              Because you *ahem* can.

          2. Anonymous Blowhard

            Re: We have one

            "for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one"

            Future MS toilet, up pops "Crappy":

            Crappy: "It looks like you're taking a dump..."

            1. HildyJ

              Re: We have one

              "for the moment it appears more a Microsoft interface than an Apple one"

              Obviously it was an Apple interface and had he consulted honorable ancestor Steve Jobs he would have learned that he was sitting on it wrong.

            2. king of foo

              Re: We have one

              BSOD

              Big Shite Of Donner?

              Brown Skids Of Doom?

        3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: We have one

          Bidets are virtually unknown in the US. More to the point, what purpose does all the electronics serve the Crapper?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We have one

        Not sure what problem an electro-bog is trying to solve?

        skid marks on yer trolleys?

        Pussy that smells like stale gorilla fart?

        Muddy balls?

      4. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: We have one

        "hen buy a bidet."

        I can wash my feet in the shower thanks

    2. Ralph B

      Re: We have one

      Obligatory Simpsons video snippet.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: We have one

        And Futurama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE0sddhCIdE

    3. Number6

      Re: We have one

      We bought a house that had one fitted (the pump recently failed, without which it won't even flush, $500 later...) There's a pressure sensor in the seat somewhere so that getting up seems to cut off all water spraying activity so it's clearly better behaved than some models.

      It can be very useful the day after a really good curry.

  2. adnim Silver badge
    Joke

    Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

    Not covered in stale piss?

    Perhaps the control panel should be at shoulder height (when sat) near to the toilet roll dispenser. However, not being familiar with Japanese toileting culture, perhaps Japanese males sit to urinate, on a level with the toilet rim a few centimetres to the left could be perfect.

    1. Tachikoma
      Meh

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      perhaps Japanese males sit to urinate

      In my lengthy experience, a great number of Japanese businessmen just pee wherever they fell like it, not bothering to look for facilities.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        What you need is a touch sensitive OLED display bar that can change the labels to suit any language. And Bluetooth. Gotta have Bluetooth.

        1. Neill Mitchell

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          I think you'll find Apple has just patented that...

        2. paulf Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          @TRT "Gotta have Bluetooth".

          Bluetooth is an absolutely necessity* so it can connect to the corresponding App (now available in the App Store and Google Play) that allows you to track how many times you visit the khazi, what you do, how much you did, how long it took, the consistency and so on. Then you can upload all the stats to our cloud servers (see the "privacy policy") and use them to play "Top Trumps" with your friends!

          * This isn't entirely fantasy - TOH has a Braun electric toothbrush with Bluetooth probably for downloading a whole pile of useless brushing stats that result in some oddly contrived targeted ads. Sometimes I'm staggered beyond words.

        3. You aint sin me, roit
          Coat

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          Bluetooth? Arse-wiping is definitely something to be done remotely via my phone, but I want mine connecting to the internet, with full data upload to the cloud so that "analytics" can be done on methane levels, shit density, klingon count and optimized hot water usage.

          After all, an IoT crapper is the perfect host for a bot net...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

            After all, an IoT crapper is the perfect host for a bot net

            And hands-free ...

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Devil

            @You aint sin me, roit -- Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems.

            I want mine connecting to the internet, with full data upload to the cloud so that "analytics" can be done on methane levels, shit density, klingon count and optimized hot water usage.

            And somehow one could wish that NSA and GHCQ decided to "check" your upload. Bwahahahahaha

          3. TheDillinquent
            Big Brother

            Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

            Anal-ytics?

        4. James Loughner

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          "What you need is a touch sensitive OLED display bar that can change the labels to suit any language. And Bluetooth. Gotta have Bluetooth."

          What not Internet iOT is a must

        5. king of foo

          Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

          If you use the "toothbrush" functionality then blue tooth is a definite possibility... Certainly in the UK where little blue pellet things are put in the cistern to ass-ist with cleaning.

      2. james 68

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        @Tachikoma

        Dunno why someone downvoted you, you're correct after all, they piss wherever they are against anything that stands still long enough.

        As an ex-pat who lives in Japan here is a piece of free advice for travellers - Ignore ALL buttons on a toilet (they're shiny and tempting I know but you do not want to go there). Wipe your ass with the provided paper, flush, leave it at that and be thankful that you found an actual porcelain throne instead of one of the oval holes in the ground known as a "squat toilet".

        I despise the ones that start playing elevator music when you sit on them, they don't disguise any grunts or splashes so why? Why must they make everything play godawful music at you or start talking to you in gibberish when you near them? I like my inanimate objects to be dumb thanks, next they'll be connected to the interwebs IoT's style screaming for all the world to see "Hey! Just had a Gaijin dump a kaiju sized load!! Click here for instagram pics and schoolgirl panties!!!"

        Japan is fu©king weird, but also awesome.

    2. src

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      Yes, in Japan males sit to urinate.

      1. thomas k

        Re: In Japan, males sit to urinate

        Wait, doesn't everyone sit? Well, maybe when not at home.

      2. eionmac

        Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

        It is better to sit to urinate if male to avoid 'spray microdrops' from water entering the atmosphe, likewise close lid before flushing for same reason.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: avoiding spray microdrops

          Exactly. Urine is highly corrosive and will sooner or later ruin everything in the splash zone. Radiators, fittings, tiles, joint sealer... even stainless steel and concrete.

          Sources:

          1. Cleaning toilets in an army barracks for 3 months.

          2. 30+ years in civil engineering, including redevelopment, FM, management of tenements, office blocks, schools, etc.

          Seriously guys - sit down. (I assume today smartphones and tablets have more of an impact towards this than anything else that's been tried before.) Oh, and while we're at it: wash your fucking hands when you're done, okay? If I feel like touching your junk, by proxy or otherwise, I'll just ask.

    3. Tom 64
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Here I encountered the first of many problems. The labels were entirely in Japanese.

      My 2c since I live in Tokyo.

      You wont find these in public bathrooms often, and in the gents that are public there are almost always urinals too. Some units do indeed have the remote buttons installed higher near the bogroll (which makes finding them difficult sometimes when pissed).

      The heated water is heated and stored locally in the cistern unit, so no, this hack didn't deprive anyone else of hot water.

      The seatwarmer function is awesome in winter time.

      Probably a good thing this hack didn't push the button with the (female) human face on it.

  3. bigp2

    In a hotel in a Seoul the futuristic toilet had one button with an English label that I was too scared to press whilst in the vicinity - "wand cleaner".

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    You got away lightly: A friend of mine was due to give a speech of thanks to her Japanese hosts after a stint of teaching English when she made a trip to the bog. She pushed the wrong button, and the toilet retracted into the wall and a shower head soaked her to the skin. She had to give her speech with her silk blouse stuck to her skin.

    Technology aside, the product designers Seymour and Powell revealed in the late nineties series 'Designs on your [toilet]' that the Japanese test the flushing system toilet in a more rigorous and sensible way than we do. UK toilets are tested with standard speheres, whereas the Japanese test the flush with hand-rolled foodstuffs to better simulate what the toilet will have to deal with in the real world.

    It was also toilet design that led to Jony Ive leaving the UK for California:

    'Tangerine had a consultancy contract with the bathroom-fittings company to design a toilet. I was there when Jony made an excellent presentation to this guy who was wearing a red nose because it was Comic Relief day. This clown then decided to throw his weight around and pulled apart Jony’s design. It was ridiculous. Britain lost Jony Ive then and there.’ - Clive Grinyer

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      t was also toilet design that led to Jony Ive

      Now I know where did I see those white rounded corner shapes before...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Also, "if it doesn't work you're holding it incorrectly"...

    2. Mayhem

      All I can say is "Been there, done that".

      Yes the transforming bathroom and the *Oh God What Just Happened* tube squirting water everywhere. There's also the vibrating massage function, the blast of hot air drying your rear, the differentially heated seat, the traditional style toilet that emerges from a shell in the floor when you stand in the wrong place in a room ....

      Lets just say that Japan can be a remarkably startling place for anyone from the west with an engineer's mentality of "oh, lets see what this button does" and no patience for asking advice beforehand..

      (bring a change of clothes, just in case)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Coffee/keyboard

    Blimey!

    I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas.

    At least there, there's rarely a surprise… unless Slim Newton has been around…

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Blimey!

      Had the unfortunate experience to deal with a pit toilet sans paperwork. Fortunately it was only a long tinkle and no No2's that was delivered.

      The smell was something like an Indian sewerage works on a hot summer's night.

    2. patrickstar

      Re: Blimey!

      Rarely a surprise? See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1btjRlGpk et al. for what might await you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blimey!

      "I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas."

      The least smelly toilet I ever encountered was in a national park of a former Iron Curtain country. The loo shed was literally built out on girders from the side of the cliff. The toilet had a hole in the bottom from which you could see the river several hundred feet below. There was a box for used paper. I did not go down to the river to see if there were warning signs (and I don't know the Slavonic for "High speed crap may descend without warning" anyway.)

    4. Tikimon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Blimey! Pit toilet horror

      "I think I'll hold my nose and stick to the pit toilets seen in national parks in remote areas. At least there, there's rarely a surprise."

      Rarely, yes, but this once was enough for a lifetime. The tank was about half full, and very liquid. Have you ever watched the fluid dynamics of something falling into water? You know how Improbable does not mean Impossible? This time the splash reached up and scored a solid hit, an anti-bidet if you will. I shrieked in horror and nearly scrubbed my own ass off trying to get clean.

    5. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Blimey!

      At least there, there's rarely a surprise

      Hehe... you never had to experience the results of throwing a pack of activated yeast in one. It used to be one of the fav "national park pranks" during in my youth.

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Future Toilet?

    Really Mr Corfield, you don't know how to use the three seashells? What are you, a caveman? :)

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Future Toilet?

      I can't up-vote this enough

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Future Toilet?

      In the US it's two brown corncobs and white one.

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    When will those "smart" toilets be IoT enabled?

    Should be fun blasting ice-cold water at random backsides during payload delivery...

    1. mhoulden
      Holmes

      Already been done, and there's already a vulnerability. It does require Bluetooth and to be reasonably close but it's one way to cause mischief from the next cubicle.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019