Sunday 09 August 2020

Smart toilet will suggest what you should be eating at Lowlands

Close-up of toilet roll holder in bathroom

People attending this year’s Lowlands festival at the weekend can take part in a new experiment involving a toilet fitted with sensors – which will tell them if they need to eat more fibre or drink less wine.

The ‘smart’ toilet was developed by engineers at IMEC Nederland to show what can be measured using a WC and how that can be linked to the health of the user. The special loo is situated by the festival’s restaurant Brasserie 2050.

‘We are asking festival goers to use our experiment, and, based on the results, we can give them menu suggestions,’ said researcher Jolanda Bax. Do the results suggest you need more fibre? Then pick up a roll with lots of seeds.

The smart toilet includes sensors to measure heart rate and blood pressure, while urine will be analysed for temperature and salt content. ‘If the salt content is too high, we can recommend they drink more liquids – or less alcohol, given this is Lowlands,’ Bax said.

The data will be gathered anonymously and used to improve the smart toilet’s functions. There are no plans as yet to develop it commercially, although it could have a role in healthcare, Bax said.

‘In the future personalised suggestions delivered by the smart toilet could tell us what food we actually need and, potentially reduce food wastage and the negative impact that has on the environment,’ sponsor Rabobank said.

The Eindhovens Dagblad has a video featuring the toilet.

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