Like it or not, you’re best friends with your toilet. Well, not necessarily even your toilet, just bathroom facilities as a whole. In fact, it’s estimated that we spend over 100 minutes every week sitting on the john, which may seem like an awful lot of wasted time. And if you happen to be one of those multitasking fiends, China has good news for you. Known as the “Fifth Space,” this high-tech bathroom facility of the future has just debuted in Beijing, and promises to let you get more business done while doing your business.
While China has long been known for its more, shall we say, provincial public toilet facilities, the Fifth Space really rounds an innovative corner. As you walk into the 21st-century public toilet, you’ll be greeted by an ATM, a lounge complete with vending machines, a computerized telephone machine that you can use to pay your utility bills, and of course, an electric-car charging station so that you can take care of your vehicle’s business as well as your own.
And once you get to the stalls, the party really starts. You can practically set up shop in one of these puppies, which are effectively office ready cubicles. With a flat-screen television, environmentally friendly wastewater, and loads of other features, you may never want to leave this particular toilet.
There are 57,000 new public toilets in the works for the enormous country over the next three years, though whether they’ll all be as high-tech as the Fifth Space has yet to be seen. “Solving the human-waste problem for 1.3 billion people is a major goal for the Chinese government,” said an employee of the Beijing Environmental Health Group. “It would be a major breakthrough for the development.”
Moving forward, spokesperson said, China has even more ambitious plans for its public restrooms, even providing blood pressure readings, heart rate, and urinalysis, all while you go to the bathroom.
Of course, because these are public facilities, keeping them state-of-the-art may prove a bit challenging. But if you’re using the restroom in such style, hopefully you’ll be motivated to clean up after yourself anyway.