Need toilet paper? Wave your hand

Prefer not to touch things in public bathrooms? A Japanese company shows off a new hands-free spin on dispensing toilet paper.

One day we may never touch anything in a public bathroom again. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

Public restrooms can really test your senses, especially if you're super fastidious about cleanliness. Thankfully, as automation becomes more commonplace, we get to enjoy futuristic time savers like Camitool, a touch-free toilet paper dispenser by Japanese company Shikoku.

You may wonder if toilet paper dispensers need any further optimization, but this product addresses some valid points. A touch-free dispenser lets those with conditions like rheumatism collect toilet paper much more easily, and it reduces the chance that infectious diseases will get spread by removing hands from the equation. Less hands mean less germs.

Camitool owners can specify how much toilet paper the device offers upon each button press, ranging from 23.6 inches to 47.2 inches. Expected juvenile button mashers aside, these preprogrammed paper lengths can help people avoid pulling too much from the roll. You know you do it.

"In the past there have been machines that dispense toilet paper, but the Camitool is different because it cuts the paper as well," a Shikoku representative told Diginfo.tv. "The fixed blade here and the rotary blade here grip the paper, and by rotating it, the Camitool cuts the paper in a similar way to a pair of scissors."

The Camitool hit the scene earlier this year in several Japanese hospitals, but the 60,000 yen ($765) tag likely makes this convenience a tough sell for mass adoption. A wooden version of the dispenser also retails for more than $1,200.

 

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