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Tokyo toilets deliver data dump by very personal RSS

The world and his dog know how space-age Japanese toilets can be (well, not this one), so it’s no great surprise to see the latest model add a little something extra to the mix in the shape of personalised RSS feeds from the throne.

Bathroom giant Imax revealed its FKF-20M remote-control model yesterday with the usual array of buttons, sprays and spinning whirligigs augmented by the option on the high-end commercial models used in department stores (that’s one in the photo up top) of RSS feeds of data derived from, er, stool analysis.

Toilets that can analyze deposits made by their users are nothing new in Japan, so it was only a matter of time before someone broadened the scope by taking them online.

The FKF-20M (from ¥55,000/$558) does the trick by generating a unique URL for each visit and beaming it from a wall-mounted infrared panel alongside the usual no-touch flush sensor to any compatible cellphone.

From there, it’s a simple matter of clicking through to a mobile website showing details such as fecal bacteria count, presence or absence of blood, fat content and other delights.

So far, the service is a soft launch, with neither promotion nor obvious instructions in place for would-be users (the toilets are already plastered with instructions for the more obvious functions), although store chain Isetan is planning on running an awareness campaign in its Tokyo stores during Japan’s ‘Bowel Health Week’ in July.

As there’s nothing identifying each user, the system seems as secure as it needs to be, but who’s to say the data won’t be used to build up some sort of brown-tinged database of a region’s collective bowel health?

“Loose guts in Saitama? Let’s ship ‘em a few crates of Immodium.” “An extra palette of Ex-lax for Osaka please.” You get the picture…

(Via Imax)

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11:30 AM Yoshi Suzuki • Permalink
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