These Smart Public Toilets Won’t Let You Take Your Time

Harin - Oct 22, 2019

These Smart Public Toilets Won’t Let You Take Your Time

These smart toilets won't allow the person inside to spend more than 15 minutes or an alert will be sent to municipal workers.

About 140 smart public toilets have just been set up in Shanghai. But one advice is that you had better be quick as you are not allowed to spend more than 15 minutes inside the toilet. Or else it will send an alert to municipal workers who will come to check on you.

The new toilets are China’s latest efforts to bring AI to almost every corner of its citizens’ daily life, just after the AI-powered traffic lights and the smart rubbish bins.

According to a city government’s document, inside each toilet stall, there is a human body sensor that uses ultrasound and infrared rays to detect the user inside as long as the time they have spent.

Based on the occupancy time, sensors also monitor the cubicle’s air quality. Moreover, the water level will also be adjusted with a water-saving feature.

Sensors also monitor the cubicle’s air quality.

22-year-old Frank Lin, a Shanghai native, voiced his opinion after hearing about the new toilets, saying he felt OK with the initiative but from now on, it might not be a great idea to read a novel inside.

Besides Shanghai, other cities including Beijing, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are also working toward making public toilets smarter. According to a Quianzhan Industry Research Institute’s report, over 700 Chinese cities have made a proposal or are in the process of setting up smart infrastructure.

It is estimated that Chinese smart cities’ market size will exceed $1.5 billion and is predicted to hit $3.5 billion by 2022.

In China, technology is being used in everything from garbage sorting, airport security to crime prevention.

In Shenzhen, the country’s hi-tech hub, pilot facial recognition schemes have been naming and putting to shame jaywalkers.

Still, the new toilet facilities might not be everyone’s favorite.

A resident of Shanghai whose surname is Liu, said, this could be very embarrassing for her since she was a little kid she has been used to spending up to 30 minutes inside the toilet. With this new toilet, she could be checked by municipal workers twice.


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