Culture

Smart pants device tells you when it's time to go to the loo

Technically Incorrect. This is a real invention from Japan. A device that gives you a countdown before you have to go to the restroom.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Useful for all? Reuters screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Will this invention leave you down in the dumps?

I'm all for technology that is truly helpful. This certainly is for some. However, now that it's supposedly being offered to the masses, it might cause many to wonder about the future.

You've already seen the headline, so here goes: This is a device that attaches to undies in order to tell you when you need to go to the toilet, the restroom, the bathroom, and, specifically, the number two room.

As Reuters reports, this is the Dfree. It predicts fecal excretion. The Huffington Post says that it was originally created for those who suffer from fecal incontinence -- primarily those advanced in years.

However, it was presented last week at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies in Tokyo. There, the manufacturers Japan's Triple W, reportedly suggested this was something everyone can use. Which might incite the question: Why?

Surely many people are already alert to nature's calling, unless they've consumed something untoward. Isn't there a fear that this may become another gadget that pointlessly takes away from something humans can cheerily cope with themselves? How many times might most people need it?

Dfree works in quite a simple way. Triple W's Ryohei Ochiai told Reuters: "The device goes on your stomach and uses ultrasonic waves to monitor your internal organs and sends the data to smartphones to be displayed."

Some users complain that it's chafing their skin, so the manufacturers are working on better ways to attach it to clothing.

I fear, however, mission creep. If Dfree really becomes something de rigueur for all, then humans will rely on their smartphones to tell them when to go to the restroom.

Which would seem a touch distressing.