Japanese toilets are known for being advanced, what with their seat-warming, music-making, and blow-drying offerings. But now, it looks like they can add another quirky user experience to the list: fatigue measuring.
The Japanese English-language publication, Sora News 24, discovered this gem of a toilet at Ebina Service Area highway rest stop in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan — also known as one of the best highway rest stops in the world, per a thrilled TripAdvisor reviewer.
Without hesitation, the team sent one of its reporters to the site to test this new tiredness measuring toilet seat, and it did not disappoint.
First things first, why would you need a toilet to measure your levels of tiredness?
Well, driving for long hours along a straight highway can be a fatigue-inducing experience, let alone if you're already lacking hours of sleep, are overworked, jetlagged, or emotionally distressed, among other factors.
That's the reason highways are dotted with signs that caution taking regular breaks. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, roughly 100,000 crashes in the U.S. involve drowsy driving every year.
So why not spice things up by letting a toilet convey this important message? This surprising measuring system in itself is enough to awaken your sleepy senses.
How the "Fatigue Measurement" toilet works
The "Fatigue Measurement" toilet, as it's called, hosts the usual Japanese toilet amenities on its right-hand side panel like a bidet, running water noises to mask any unwanted sounds, a heated seat option, a blow dryer, and more. And on its left-hand side sits the panel exclusively made to measure your fatigue.
According to Sora News 24's reporter, once you press the button vibrating sensors built in the toilet seat analyze "pulse fluctuations" that then measure your level of tiredness. Sounds intriguing.
You're then prompted to select your age range and answer whether you're tired, not tired, or somewhat tired. Then the entire process begins, and all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the water sounds your toilet makes as it analyzes your tiredness levels via your backside.
During the 60-second analysis, the toilet informs you on its panel that "In a fatigued state, the tension of the sympathetic nervous system increases and the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system decreases, so this toilet measures the fluctuation in beats and analyses the autonomic nervous system."
It carries on to say that drivers should take a 10 to 20 minute break every two hours.
Well, talk about a surreal experience when a toilet gives you fatigue advice and information.
And after this exciting moment, the toilet informs you of your tiredness level!
All in all, you'd hope humans would be able to tell how tired they are on their own account and not have to rely on a toilet measuring their butt vibrations. That said, it's still pretty cool, and fun — and maybe installing such toilets at more highway rest stops would minimize accidents on the road, if anything, because their novelty would make more drivers pull over and relax a little longer on the john.