Tags: toilet | future | sit | squat

Toilet of the Future: You Gotta Sit Down for This One, or Squat

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 09 Dec 2013 07:57 AM

Three British college students have designed the toilet of the future, which might eventually be able to analyze waste for health problems like kidney disease, diabetes, or nutritional deficiencies. And it's something you do have to care squat about.

In honor of World Toilet Day in November, the U.K.-based Dyno-Rod Drains sponsored a contest that challenged entrants to design a toilet of the future to help "raise awareness on how we can upgrade the current 130 year old flush toilet to one that benefits our health and the environment."

Sam Sheard, Pierre Papet, and Victor Johansson of Central St. Martin's College at the University of Arts London won the competition with their "wellbeing toilet" — a prototype that fuses the traditional toilet with a squat model.

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The squatting toilet discourages users from sitting in the conventional 90-degree, upright position, which, the trio says, is "obstructing the bowels." Instead, their model has users sitting with their feet perched on the edge.

"Essentially, this [squatting] toilet is forcing a new way of sitting which, to a large extent, doesn't exist, culturally speaking, in the west yet," Johannes told NBC News. "But I think when people start realizing the benefits they might be tempted to switch."

However, not everyone is on board with the squatting toilet of the future. Eduardo Kausel, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), voiced one of his main concerns:

"My sense is that the danger with squatting is that you might miss the bowl," he told NBC News.

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