back to article Best thing about a smart toilet? You can take your mobile in without polluting it

A man on the internet wants me to take a look at his ring. He claims his ring detects hand gestures. Apparently with one flourish of the fingers, it will open up and let you in. His ring supports input as well as output. You can store things in it. It accommodates accessories. He uses it as a means of payment in lieu of cash …

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  1. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Coffee/keyboard

    C|N>K

    "integral intestinal jet pack"

  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    An IoT toilet sounds like a crap idea.

    There. You just knew one of us was going to make that pun, and I am that person :)

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Is there an El Reg article with suggestions for the worst or most stupid application of IoT?

      My money would have been on an IoT electric toothbrush "to teach you how to brush your teeth" but Apple/Colgate already beat me to it.

    2. lawndart

      It's easy to tell if someone has sat down and really worked at producing good toilet humour or if they are just going through the motions.

    3. Captain Obvious
      Joke

      I don't know.....

      I think the comments are just going down the toilet....

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I don't know.....

        People are beginning to take the piss.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The obvious quote from "The Third Man":

    " in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The obvious quote from "The Third Man":

      It's indeed a nice punchy quote, and one whose construction I have long admired, but I suspect most of the victims of the "warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed" might well have gladly traded in all of "Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance" for 30 years of peace and democracy. Well, probably a simple peace would have sufficed. Or maybe just even as little not being terrorized and murdered.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: The obvious quote from "The Third Man":

        There is a reason the statement "May your children live in interesting times!" used to be used as a curse.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: live in interesting times!

          Though there is a Chinese saying with similar intent this one seems to be a 19th C. English invention. The closest Chinese is "Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic period."

          ~

          Curiously the "Willow Pattern" china is an English invention too, in the late 18th C., adopted later by Chinese copies. Though it was inspired by Chinese designs. The fable was made up later as marketing by a UK company.

          ~

          I like to research things that my characters might say in my books, so I don't inadvertently reinforce urban myths. Some do have an element of truth, but in intent are false.

      2. Stork Bronze badge

        Re: The obvious quote from "The Third Man":

        what's worse, whoever came up with it did obviously not bother studying Swiss history. Not satisfied with supplying mercenaries to various wars (some battles had Swiss on both sides, that's neutrality for you), they also had a fair deal of internal strife until 1848.

        Catchy, but completely detached from reality.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      The cuckoo clock

      Ironically a German invention.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: The cuckoo clock

        The cuckoo clock

        Ironically a German invention.

        I forget who it was that said it, but somebody said that Germany's two greatest achievements were convincing the world that Beethoven was German and Hitler was Austrian

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: The cuckoo clock

          I forget who it was that said it, but somebody said that Germany's two greatest achievements were convincing the world that Beethoven was German and Hitler was Austrian
          I had heard it as "Austria's greatest accomplishments were convincing everyone that Mozart was Austrian, and that Hitler wasn't."

          But I don't know the original source, either.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The cuckoo clock

          > I forget who it was that said it, but somebody said that Germany's two greatest achievements were convincing the world that Beethoven was German and Hitler was Austrian

          The quote I think you are looking for is... Austria's greatest PR success is in convincing the world that Mozart was Austrian and Hitler was German.

          Edit: 10 minutes to note that someone else just beat me to it!

        3. John Presland

          Re: The cuckoo clock

          Errrr ... Beethoven was born in Bonn to parents both of whom were born and raised in the Rhineland. One of his grandfathers was, true enough, a Dutch immigrant but surely that's not enough to make him other than German.

    3. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "The obvious quote from "The Third Man":"

      Is completely wrong. Not only is the Black Forest not part of Switzerland, but the Swiss had a great reputation as mercenary soldiers - particularly the Appenzellers, who had earrings and upside down pipes so that in a battle they could avoid fellow citizens on the opposite side. They then developed a massive armaments industry and sold them to any government with money.

      1. Andy A
        Facepalm

        Re: "The obvious quote from "The Third Man":"

        I am led to believe that the line was not in the original script, but was ad-libbed by Orson Welles.

        Typical for an American not to understand geography.

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        At Voyna i Mor, re: those viscious Swiss...

        Of course they were viscious, just look at their army knives! They can kill you with any of a dozen tiny tools! "Look out! He's brandishing a spoon!" =-)p

    4. grumbler

      The Italians can stick their fucking Renaissance, the Swiss gave us Toblerone!

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        And then took half of it away, the bastards.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "And then took half of it away, the bastards."

          While still being made in Switzerland - Toblerone was acquired by the same US food giant that has been criticised by customers for its subsequent changes to other famous chocolate acquisitions eg Cadbury; Green & Black.

          "Toblerone is a Swiss chocolate bar brand currently owned by US confectionery company Mondelēz International, Inc., which was formerly Kraft Foods, the company that acquired the product from former owner Jacobs Suchard in 1990."

  4. TonyJ Silver badge

    Ahh Dabbsy

    Highlight of my working week. Kudos.

  5. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Toilets which blow hot air...

    That sounds nasty

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Toilets which blow hot air...

      Sounds like someone is blowing smoke....

      If they modify it to sanitize the hot air with UV light, could they then be said to be "pumping sunshine up your ass?"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That procession video really captured the sort of ritual and theatricality that Augustus Pugin championed to attract congregations to the moribund English churches in the 19th century.

    It is not surprising that he had spent his youth doing stage designs in theatres - which at that time had insalubrious reputations.***

    *** It is interesting that the Wikipedia biography omits to mention this unholy formative phase of his life.

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Pugin

      Up voted for mentioning Pugin and the gothic revival.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Pugin

        Have an upvote. I visited Stawberry Hill house in S.W. London last year. A pure delight.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      *** It is interesting that the Wikipedia biography omits to mention this unholy formative phase of his life.

      Well, you know what to do - log on and start editing!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Well, you know what to do - log on and start editing!"

        It'll be instantly reverted by the person who believes the entry is their own personal property.

        I couldn't even get some "entry owner" to accept that "meeting minimal safety requirements" meant something different to (in, fact almost the opposite of) "meeting minimum safety requirements"

        No, as a German confident in their English, they were so confident that I (a native speaker with a postgraduate education) was wrong in declaring the two adjectives non-synonymous, they refused to even to look it up. I gave up in the end.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Happy

    "looking pug ugly" on the other side of the pond it's just fugly, no reason to bring innocent dogs into it...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Who knows what they would have done if the crew hadn't intervened: [...]"

    IIRC the solution was for the plane to make an emergency landing to offload the passenger.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Seems to me they offloaded the passengers who took matters into their own hands. As in they were arrested and faced charges.

      Remember, folks, unless you own the venue you are not in charge.

  9. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Method in their madness

    I must confess that at times I see the adverts for the Japanese wonder-loos, with every mod-con, and wonder if one could be plumbed in to a Welsh cottage without blowing the village power supply. Warm air, warm water, music, bliss! I could take the laptop with me and it's the new office - not sure about client meetings though.

    Not at all convinced about the smartphone control though. In fact totally unconvinced. For something like that you need a simple control panel next to the device. I mean, what about visitors? Do they lose out on all the 21st century wonderfulness? And for the 3am visit, the phone is probably on charge.

    Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Method in their madness

      Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.

      Only a matter of time before somebody adds a bowl-cam. And that'd be quite useful for those retards who insist on updating the online world about every moment of their day. Maybe have a built in motion detector, and then live stream to Faecesbook. Government could then demand backdoor access on grounds of national security, and your local council could fine anybody using more than five sheets per shite "to protect the environment".

      Obviously audio feed would be staightforward, but technologists have so far been woefully remiss in the olfactory department, other than some early attempts in the US that they let slide.

      1. Alistair Dabbs

        Re: Method in their madness

        Only a matter of time before somebody adds a bowl-cam

        From what I've read, I believe a toilet bowl cam is standard equipment in Airbnb properties.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Method in their madness

          From what I've read, I believe a toilet bowl cam is standard equipment in Airbnb properties.

          Somehow that idea reminds me of this: NSFW unless your boss has a robust sense of humour.

          1. GIRZiM

            Re: Method in their madness

            > Somehow that idea reminds me of this

            And me of this.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Method in their madness

        Wouldn't be surprised if a bowl-cam is already on the way, as part of the diagnostic package. The top-of-the-range models already do a lot of medical diagnosis, and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Method in their madness

          and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you

          And top, top, top of the range will have a little windscreen wiper on the lens, to clean away the consequences of a sputtering ring. And even that will have a "smart" revenue stream in 2025:

          "AI analysis by Google Deep Mind (tm) completed! BLEEP! Deep Mind (tm) has detected that Bowl-cam HX248-8491-A67GW has bad image smearing! BLEEP! Image analysis consistent with a worn excrement wiper blade; Location 42 Acacia Grove, Stockport. Arse Identification has positively identified the foulage as being from the anus of a Mister Smeagol Gove! Despatch a technician with BCW4-X3 wiper blade, and a wiper arm cleaning and re-lube kit and a set of latex gloves. Alert PharmaOnline to an opportunity to sell Preparation H, alert Tesco of an opportunity to sell baby koala soft toilet paper and industrial strength air freshener. Notify Smeagol Gove's friends on Facebook with reminders to congratulate him on pebbledashing the pan...oh, no friends recorded, abort that. Alert Mark Zuckerberg so he can pimp this data anyway!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Method in their madness

      "...wonder if one could be plumbed in to a Welsh cottage without blowing the village power supply. Warm air, warm water, music,.."

      No! No! and No!

      You really want a choir forming when you're busy on the bog??

    3. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      At Pen-y-gors...

      The next upgrade will be Voice Assist. Now everyone can hear you screaming at your toilet. "Oh dear gods NO! Not the flaming blow again! AIIIIIEEEEE!"

    4. whileI'mhere

      Re: FailCEO

      "...and it's the new office - not sure about client meetings though."

      I seem to recall some time ago (1970s?) seeing a film extract on Barry Norman's Film programme of that year (if only I could remember which year) where the concept was to reverse eating and shitting. The extract showed a company board meeting taking place with everyone on a shitter, free to raise the lid and let rip, while those needing any food or drink had to excuse themselves to a small ante-room and do it in private, quietly. It was, of course, a foreign-langauge film. Wish I could find out what it was...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FailCEO

        "Wish I could find out what it was..."

        Le fantôme de la liberté (and many more country variations) (1974) by Luis Buñuel.

  10. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Problems no one has?

    In Vietnam and Cambodia, every toilet has a (manually operated) flexible hose for washing whilst sat in the toilet. It's great. It's maybe due to older houses having sewage systems that don't cope with toilet paper. It maybe that the heat and humidity of that climate makes another way of keeping fresh desirable. Whatever, it's a far better solution than using 'flushable' wet wipes as some folk in the UK do.

    And if you have any expectations of getting lucky that day, it's confidence-inspiring to feel clean and fresh below the belt.

    The architecture in Japan often leans towards smaller houses and thinner walls. Having a toilet that produces sound effects (birdsong, waterfalls) is a way of maintaining a pretence of privacy.

    The first mainstream waterproof smartphones were from Sony. I don't know if this is related at all. I usually start playing a podcast before I do my business, and pick it up again after washing my hands - so the waterproofing is mainly handy for listening to podcasts in the shower. That Sony made a waterproof tablet is useful, given how many people tablets them to display cooking recipes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Problems no one has?

      The architecture in Japan often leans towards smaller houses and thinner walls.

      That's a frightening thought given the tiny, dingy modern day slums that UK builders create, along with their paper thin internal walls.

      Of course, maybe that's why the Japanese population is in decline.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      AtDave 126, re: bathroom noises.

      I like to cover mine by cranking up my MP3 player to various fog horns, train whistles, boat horns, & other assorted wind instruments. I'm sure my neighbors get a kick out of hearing train chugging, whistling, & splashing sounds. =-)p

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    nice one Dabbsy

    "solve a problem that no-one really has"

    That sums up IoT in a nutshell. Can I have a gold star now?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: nice one Dabbsy

      Can I have a gold star now?

      That would require not just this HyperBog, but the Star Upgrade upgrade as well.

    2. Franco Silver badge

      Re: nice one Dabbsy

      No, you can have an internet enabled gold star. It signals other star holders via bluetooth when you are near.

      I recently watched Craig Ferguson's Tickle Fight special on Netflix and he talks about Japanese toilets quite a bit. Presumably one requires the correct NFC code on a smart ring to enter them though.

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