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Japanese toilets will measure your fatigue on road trips -- and wow, that's weird

Take a seat and let some sensors measure your butt, weary motorist.

Japanese toilet
Flush, bidet... check fatigue level?
Karl Tapales/Getty Images

"I bet in 2021, we'll have flying cars." Nope, but we do have Japanese toilets that measure your level of fatigue via your butt. Close enough, or something. According to a report from SoraNews 24, which follows oddball Japanese happenings and writes for English-speaking audiences, this new toilet rolled out at the Kanagawa Prefecture's Ebina Service Area, which is about 45 minutes outside of Tokyo. There, drivers can stop for a snack, take a rest and have the toilets measure how tired they are.

According to the website's first-hand experience, a user opts in via a touchscreen to have the sensors do their thing... while the individual does theirs. The process takes a minute and fires up vibration sensors built into the toilet seat, which measure "pulse fluctuations" to calculate a person's fatigue level. Choose your age bracket, tell the system if you feel tired or not, and the program kicks off.

While running, a message explains what the toilet is actually looking for. Specifically, "the tension of the sympathetic nervous system increases and the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system decreases," in a fatigued state. The sensors look for fluctuations to analyze, and then the toilet spits out a result telling the user if they're tired, somewhat tired or not tired at all.

It's hardly cutting-edge medical advice, but it is a nice reminder to perhaps take a 20-minute break from driving. This particular rest stop, according to the blog, is a notorious place to stop with many other attractions, including some amazing-looking melon bread. Come for the fatigue-measuring toilets, stay for the melon bread.