What it is: Google recently patented a smart toilet concept.
Our devices are getting smarter. Cars will know how to drive themselves from one place to another, phones know how to translate different languages, and even computers know how to respond to voice commands. Perhaps one of the biggest breakthroughs in the future will be real-time health monitoring and that’s where Google’s latest patent comes in with a smart toilet.
Right now, a toilet is little more than a hole in the floor filled with water that flushes away waste products. Yet such waste products actually contain incredible amounts of data. According to Google’s patent, a pressure sensing toilet seat could also measure a patient’s blood pressure, as well as monitor the individual’s health through their bowel movements. Sensors in the toilet bowl itself could examine a person’s urine and feces for abnormalities. Such early detection of problems could allow prevention at an early stage before a problem gets out of hand.
Given the advantages that a smart toilet offers compared to the much lower cost of “dumb” toilets, it’s easy to see that beyond the initial cost and maintenance, smart toilets can be an important factor in health monitoring in the future. Of course the real question is who controls the data from real-time health monitoring devices like a smart toilet?