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Smart Toilet Becomes A Smart Device

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Very soon, your smart toilet will connect your health data to the Internet.

The flush sitting toilet went mainstream in the 19th century, about 250 years after it was invented. Despite a few tweaks to conserve water, its basic design remains. Most people in the West don’t know this, but the world’s most popular toilet is actually the squat toilet, widely used in Africa, Asia and most Muslim countries. Today, with the arrival smart devices, smart sitting toilets are taking over everywhere. In large measure, this has to do with how the new technology supports additional cleansing required by some religions.

If you have every used the toilet in Japan or Korea, you probably wondered about the electronic keypad. These first generation smart toilets have a variety of functions for warming, cooling and in particular, cleansing. (Don’t push these buttons without knowing what you are doing. I did this in Inchon Airport, much to my embarrassment.) Cleansing is basically done with a pressure washer and air drying. Watch this video from Toto to get the basic idea. This is not just futuristic. You can buy the Ove Smart Toilet  at Costco today for $1500.

The second generation smart toilet adds sensors to check your health. It analyzes your urine and stool. These smart toilets contain a web server which can send a report about your health to a web page or smart phone. Some will send the data to your doctor. Testing urine takes about a minute. Of course, it is also easy to have the toilet check your blood pressure, body temperature and weight, too. Stool testing and bowel movement analysis is a bit trickier, but is arriving.

Help! My Smart Toilet has been Hacked

Not surprisingly, it is easy to hack a smart toilet. Any device with connectivity is vulnerable.

For example, the popular Satis toilet is controlled by an app on your phone. You can raise and lower the seat, flush it, activate air-dry, spray water and so on. Up until now, the only security has been a five digit PIN. If your neighbor knows your PIN, he can download the app and flush your toilet all day. Since many folks leave the default PIN, well you know the rest. And hacking a five digit PIN is not that hard. Here is a video of some university researchers hacking a toilet.

Consequently, second generation smart toilets could make your health data readily available.

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