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Toilet of the future: Wellbeing toilet urges users to squat in lieu of sitting

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The toilet of the future is not available today. Unfortunately this new high-tech toilet exists only as a prototype that was unveiled during World Toilet Day. If its inventors have anything to say about it, the toilet of the future will be less like a king's throne and more like a bird's perch.

According to a Dec. 6, 2013 report by NBC news, the clever trio of Sam Sheard, Pierre Papet, and Victor Johansson "… were most interested in reconfiguring the basic shape of the toilet into a sort of hybrid between the chair-like structure of modern toilets and angular position of ' squat toilets.'"

The so-called "wellbeing toilet" was designed to eliminate the sitting position used by most people in Western countries to relieve themselves on the typical toilet. It brings all the comfort of the traditional Western toilet and combines it with the squatting position favored by many people in other parts of the world.

A 90° position may be appropriate for working at one's desk or eating dinner at the table, but it is not the best position for passing solid waste due to its propensity for obstructing the bowels.

The designers of the wellbeing toilet are aware that it is difficult to get people to accept new things particularly when it comes to something like a toilet. Today's traditional toilet has 130 years of history that will be hard to overcome.

Photos of the toilet of the future show a raised or elevated seat where the user can perch with his or her feet resting on a ledge, knees bent at an acute angle. Some critics argue that squatting instead of sitting can cause the user to miss the target, however, from the photo of a model posing on the toilet of the future, that seems unlikely.

The toilet of the future does seem impractical for potty training due to its elevated height and unusual configuration. The photo of the toilet also shows that the proto-type lacks a toilet seat or a toilet seat cover, leaving an uncovered opening at the top of the appliance.

Squatting versus sitting is not the only benefit of the wellbeing toilet of the future. Its inventors said it "… could eventually be used to analyze a user's waste to monitor for health defects such as diabetes or kidney diseases, and could even provide information about nutritional deficiencies or pregnancy."

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