If you waste too much of your working day looking for an empty toilet cubicle, then a Japanese company may have come up with a solution.
According to telecom operator KDDI, Japanese employees spend far too much time waiting for a lavatory to become available, so it has developed an app which shows the nearest vacant loo, the Japan Times reports. In a move that might cause privacy concerns for some office workers, the company says that sensors on cubicle doors are linked to a central computer system, allowing real-time updates of how many cubicles are available in an office block, and - most importantly - where.
It's hoped that once the scheme has proved itself in offices, it can be rolled out in public places such as railway stations, shopping malls and sporting venues. Company spokesperson Daisuki Mauro says it's all about efficiency savings: "People waste time by looking around for an available toilet on various floors, or by waiting until one becomes available," he says. "We believe this solution will help solve the problem by streamlining how bathrooms are used."
我们希望一旦该项目在办公室管用的话，它就能应用在诸如地铁站，商场和体育馆这样的公众场合。公司的发言人 Daisuki Mauro说该项目能够有效地节约：“人们在找空厕所的时候，或者等厕所的时候浪费了太多的时间，”他说。“我们相信这个解决方案能够通过提高厕所的利用率来解决问题。”
Hi-tech toilets and Japan seem to go hand-in-hand, with Japanese companies attempting to introduce "smart" loos into the "squeamish" European market. Costing as much as £10,000 ($12,400) and equipped with UV cleaning, warm-air blowers, a spray hose and Bluetooth control, manufacturers told BBC Future last year that - despite concerns - it's hugely unlikely that hackers would want to "take control of your nozzle".
日本似乎要与高科技马桶携手，同时日本公司准备将“智能”厕所介绍到“谨慎正派”的欧洲市场。该设备配备有紫外线清洁，暖风干燥机以及蓝牙控制的冲厕水管，需要花费£10,000($12,400) 去年，制造商对BBC Future说，尽管有隐私方面的担忧，它并不会像“黑客”一样控制你的马桶冲水。