Shanghai's Public Toilets Are About to Get a Whole Lot Smarter

By Urban Family, November 21, 2018

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201711/originally-uf.jpgThis article originally appeared on our sister website, Urban Family Shanghai.

By Yuzhou Hu

It may come as a surprise to you but Monday was World Toilet Day. And, to mark the occasion, Shanghai announced it will build and renovate more smart toilets around town, reports Shine.

Four toilet blocks in Yangpu district are now home to the latest smart toilets in the city. Compared with traditional toilets, the intelligent versions are equipped with technology that makes using public bathrooms a little easier. After stepping into one of the smart toilets, you'll see a giant LCD screen, where basic information is displayed such as the number of users, temperature and air quality.

Image via Kankanews

Each stall has a sensor which is connected to the screen and shows if there are stalls available for use. At the same time, if someone is occupying a stall for over 15 minutes, a sensor will raise an automatic alarm in case there has been an incident.

Thanks to the environmental detection equipment, the screen updates the toilet's ammonia and carbon dioxide levels every five minutes. If the concentration becomes too high, a ventilator will operate to release the gas.

Sensors in the smart toilets. Image via NetEase

There are currently 150 smart toilets scattered around different districts, including Yangpu, Putuo, Jing'an and Songjiang. By next year, a general information platform will be established, where all smart toilet information will come together on the platform.

Civilians rating the toilet through the screen. Image via NetEase

"By analyzing the statistics of these toilets, the platform can help civilians find nearby public toilets (an app with a similar function was launched last year)," Fu Liping, an official with the sanitation bureau, told Shine. "Furthermore, it can assist us in planning future toilets, regarding the location or the ratio of male to female."

The duration of the renovation usually takes two weeks. As is advised by Fu, more smart toilets will pop up around the city and be linked to the platform next year.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

This article was originally published by our sister magazine Urban Family Shanghai. For more articles like this, visit the Urban Family website, or follow the Urban Family WeChat account (ID: urbanfamilyshanghai).

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