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The Type-A, High-Tech Bathroom 132

Carl Bialik from the WSJ writes "Hard-driving homeowners have converted their loos into virtual satellite workspaces, with retractable desks or waterproof touch-screen monitors, the Wall Street Journal reports. Among the features: showerproof computers and mirrors with stock quotes. But beware the accidental 'BlackBerry dunk' in the toilet or sink. 'Audio One says about all of the 30 home-automation systems it's installed near its Miami head office in the past year--prices can reach $200,000--have featured TVs in the bathroom. "It's become a given," says company engineer David Sussman. "There's not much sanctity left." '"
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The Type-A, High-Tech Bathroom

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  • by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:41AM (#14640960)

    to the phrase core dump.

  • by glennrrr ( 592457 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:43AM (#14640965)
    Given that I seem to get my best ideas while brushing my teeth, having a computer to distract me would eliminate my last chance for an original thought.
    • That's actually a good point. I find that all my actually creative ideas come to me when I'm away from the computer. Computer time is the time to put the idea into reality, or to do bug fixes, or to crank out everyday code. Acutally creative work happens in the shower or on my bike on the way to work.
      Of course, it's easy to argue that the types of people who are doing this kind of stuff don't do creative work. Perhaps they don't get any more creative when away from a PC.
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:48AM (#14640977)
    If you can't even cut the umbilical to the television long enough to take a dump, you need to seriously re-examine your priorities. Next they will be putting computers and refrigerators in there and nobody will ever have to leave the throne room.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by njvic ( 614279 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @07:00AM (#14641002)
      I've never understood the desire to add more features from other rooms in the house, such as the lounge/kitchen etc to the bathroom. Why not add a loo to the other rooms instead?
    • by shawb ( 16347 )
      Alternatively, a perceived need to watch TV could be the result of a medical problem or dietary deficiency. Seeing a doctor or getting more fiber could help out here. But seriously, I would imagine that a lot of the people who have a TV installed in their bathroom also have a hottup or similar in there. Not so much for the regualar day to day cleaning as for hard core relaxing. And mostly for showing off to members of the desired sex.
    • what? there's life outside these four walls ? ... I put my first laptop on a long cord and a little fold out table back in the nineties to take into the throne room, and my roommates have loved it, and thanked me for it for years ... yes there's a little fridge in there as well ...
    • Why not stop trying to put everything from outside the bathroom in it, and just take the functions of the bathroom with you everywhere you go? Soon, people will be wearing adult diapers all the time, and the ultra-rich will have catheters and colostomy bags.
    • by 6e7a ( 256012 )
      I think the point is rather to read up-to-date electrons rather than dead trees.
  • by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:55AM (#14640991)
    I just wish the women in my life would have the common decency to just leave the seat up, as they found it.

    Come on ladies, how hard is it to raise the seat after you're finished using it?

    • Have you ever noticed how men leave the toilet seat up? That's the joke.
      You suck McBain!
    • I just wish the women in my life would have the common decency to just leave the seat up, as they found it.

      It's supposed to stay up. People who think otherwise obviously haven't thought the sitution through thourghally.
    • A woman's brain is different, it can't grasp the complexities of a mechanical device such as a 'hinge'. They can't apply logic like 'if the seat is up, put it down'.

      They're not as good as us, you know.

    • The solution: put the seat down, so that you have an equal amount of work.
    • Are my family some of the only people who actually close the lid AND the seat of the toilet, whoever used it?
      • I close the lid, mostly to make sure my cat doesn't get in there. But I'm the only person I know that does it. I'm not sure why manufacturers even bother making seats with lids, come to think of it.
        • Lids are there so you don't accidentally knock items off a nearby sink or shelf into the toilet.

          Lids are commonly not on public bathroom toilets because there's usually not anything to knock off of anything else. It would also be costly to put lids on restroom toilets, considering they'd likely never get put down anyway.

          If you really want a lidless toilet seat, big-box do-it-yourself stores have split-seat (no need to even lift the seat! oh my!), lidless seats, just like in your favorite tearoom, i mean r

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Must be your family only. Everybody in my family closes the lid, but leaves the seat up. :)
      • I close the lid without fail. Even when I've been drinking. Partly due to the cat but mostly because it looks more proper with it closed.
      • I do it that way, too - mostly because I donlt like the idea of dropping stuff into the crapper accidentally...
    • About as hard as it is for us guys to leave it DOWN if that's the way we found it.
    • That's the best part about having gay friends - when you use the toilet at their house, you can leave the damn seat up!

    • Re:Toilet humor (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SMS_Design ( 879582 )
      I have never understood why people make such an issue of the toilet seat. If it's up when you arrive in the restroom and you need it to be down, you can put it down. If it's down when you arrive in the restroom and you need it to be up, you can put it up. NOBODY should concern themselves with the damn status of the toilet seat. Leave it in the position that it ended up in after you used it. The only thing I require of the toilet seat is cleanliness. Other than that, I don't care about the position. Don'
      • Some households aren't keen on their dogs drinking out of the toilet. Others have small children, and have to worry about drowning.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:58AM (#14640998)
    The type which have the electronically controlled bidets? My wife is Japanese and naturally we visited (and stayed with) the in-laws in her home town...one time I hit that damn bidet button while having a crap and I swear water sprayed out my nose. They have it cranked up real high. It's really just an enema. But it works! None of that 30 minutes on the can stuff in Japan, or that feeling in your guts as you drive to work 15 minutes later that you didn't spend enough time cleaning out...those water spray jets make sure you don't need to crap again for at least the rest of that day. So you get used to it, especially once you figure out which buttons control the pressure level!

    (Oh, and the female 'front shower' is the reason Japanese chicks spend so much time in the bathroom, and why they always look so satisfied afterwards...)
  • by smackdotcom ( 136408 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @06:58AM (#14640999)
    ...to watch a television program in the bathroom while doing your business, I might recommend a bit more fibre in your diet.
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Voltageaav ( 798022 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @07:04AM (#14641007) Homepage
    I can take a shower without having to stop playing EVE.
  • by jimsoul ( 951935 ) <jimsoul@gmail.com> on Saturday February 04, 2006 @07:14AM (#14641017)
    ...or at least more than usual.

    Not to be pessimistic about the technology on display, but does anybody really crave this? At my workplace I'm lucky if you manage to squeeze in (or out?) the time to use the facilities in peace, let alone being able to carry on working while present.

    I think it would be about time to sit down and seriously assess your throughput (haw) if you'd reached the point where you could honestly say you need that kind of information present while attending the throne. I see the bathroom as the last calm and sensible place in my home, possibly to the point of insulating the walls so the mere presence of wifi can't exist in such a sacred space.

    After a 60 hour week with a myriad of after hours calls, notifications exploding into inboxes and pagers like hand grenades, and the proverbial generally hitting the fan (or the terminal in this case), I'd soon choose to walk a few blocks to a public loo than step into a wired bathroom. You never know what you might be walking into.
    • Perhaps what would be more useful to the world is an 'anti-wired' bathroom which features radio jammers for things like cellphones and WiFi.
      • Increase the amount of iron in your diet? Unleash anti-emf hell after lunch?

        I'm frequently horrified at the number of people in my workplace who charge into the toilets with their phones / mobile radios / whatever still in action.

        Some have deft strategies around well timed coughing or exucses about bad connections when the other party assumably start enquiring about the background noise.

        "What? Yes. No. No, its just someone trying really hard to push rocks into a swimming pool. Honestly. Big ones. Now about
  • My bathroom has everything a person could ever need for complete fullfillment in the bathroom experience. I sink, whirlpool, toilet, toilet paper, handsoap, towel, a few misc hygene supplies, a door which left open will allow you to see the tv in the bedroom, and one latest copy of THE READERS DIGEST. What more could you need (by the way my type in word below is condom, how ironic)
    • I Totally agree, and the best part is that if you run out of Tp, well theirs still the readers digest :D

      The papers surprisingly aborbative, quite handy in a pinch :D

      (I'm going for +5 funny here folks, c'mon you KNOW you want to :D )
  • TVs in the bathroom. Why? Do you hate your spouse and kids that much?

    Seriously, if you find yourself watching that much television you need to reassess your priorities. Not that I care, the fewer people out there DOING/CREATING stuff the better. They can all sit like pigs watching TV, their brains gently decomposing in their heads (that isn't earwax coming out of their ears!) whilst I do stuff* and feel accomplished and happy.

    *Well, I would, but there's a good comedy show on tonight that I can't miss, and m
  • office (Score:2, Funny)

    by in_fla ( 849388 )
    Was "head office" intentional?
  • Only question now is..what are those three sea shell for?
  • I knew that I didn't like the first guy they interviewed for this piece. In TFA, he claims to have a blackberry, two cell phones, three office computers, wireless internet for his car, a speakerphone in his shower, a waterproof laptop, and is able to answer the front door from the bathroom. Then I googled his company... "Exigen Group is a provider of business process optimization services, technology and outsourcing that generates financial returns for our clients. " Now it makes sense. He's one of tho
  • I checked out that site...The table on the page didn't format well at all with firefox. The wall street journal site can't format to accomodate IE AND FF? I wouldn't want to be surfing the net on the crapper and run into a site that I couldn't read with Firefox. By the time I surf back to the same site with crappy IE (pardon the pun), I would be finished and ready to go back to a laptop/desktop where I was supposed to be.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @08:41AM (#14641175) Journal
    Melanie Brandman has been victim of two BlackBerry soakings -- but says hers has never fallen into the toilet. Once, in the bathroom of a hotel in Turkey, she put her handbag in one sink while running water in a second one. She accidentally tripped the first sink's automatic sensor and flooded the bag with water

    How do these people get to be company presidents?

    Do they think 'where's a good place for my bag ... hmm, the floor - no, too low. ah, by the sink! No! INSIDE A SINK!'

    All I can hope for is that these people will work themselves to death early on in life, and have no children.
    • You ! out of the gene pool !

      or at least darwin themselves into obscurity ...

    • These are the same half wits who keep important files in their computers trash cans because its quick and deasy to send it there by hitting "delete"
    • How do these people get to be company presidents?

      Executives are just barely smart enough to be able to convince other people into doing the thinking and the work, while they themselves wander the Earth like so many Alzheimer's patients.

      By the time the one functioning brain cell is worked to its breaking point, they've got enough power and money to threaten and pay off other people to do the thinking and the work, and they don't even have to convince anyone anymore.

      Hard work gets you nowhere. Working hard a
  • At the job I left back in Sep/Oct, for the number of people on the floor (5th), we had too small bathrooms. The last thing we have needed are gadgets to keep people longer than necessary. Our building was also shared with mostly dental offices. Our company had the whole 4th and 5th floor. The 3rd floor as partially ours and had their own facilities in addition to standard bathroom. In the building, all the standard bathrooms were in the center of each floor by the stairs and elevator.

    If I needed to take
  • In an era where some kids have to walk miles through some of the poorest and toughest neighborhoods in the world, just to do email at a library..... we're talking about $200K conspicuous consumption 'tech' bathrooms.

    Somehow, out-of-control capitalists just can't stop from writing about their new awesome dead-end look-at-me wicked hot toys. What a waste of digital space.
    • That's right. These people should donate all of their money to people that don't have the drive and determination that they do. It's not like they worked for it.
      • I suppose it's everyone's right to piss away hundreds of thousands of dollars in a nihilistic effort to get HDTV in their bathrooms. Leave it to the WSJ to highlight conspicuous excess and rich people behaving badly.

        And I don't care if they worked for it or not; it's reprehensible.
        • You're right, it is reprehensible that in a free society people are allowed to use their money, the money they worked for, however they want. Bring on the nytimes and the socialist overlords so the people that are willing to work themselves into success can be stripped of the fruits of their labor for redistribution to the dregs of society. You must work in academia...
          • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @10:27AM (#14641441)
            This is about embarrassment.

            I agree that it's anyone's right to spend money in whatever way that makes them feel like royalty.

            And it's also my right to point out that spending $200K on a bathroom is plainly ludicrous and without merit. It reminds me of other noveau riche, grandiose stupidities.

            No, I'm not in academia. I just have sensitivities towards irrational excess.

            • by Anonymous Coward
              That "irrational excess" often provides the capital needed to further develop technology into forms accessible at a cheaper cost -- it's a common pattern in many industries that the high-dollar items subsidize the rest of the product line.

              Also, it should satisfy your lust for schadenfreude that people who manage their money poorly often end up with none at all; many a trust fund has been destroyed by offspring who blew their inheritance within a few years.

              As Nietzsche said, envy is the most corrosive emotio
              • So sure. Technology-gilded bathroom will somehow be commercialized, and the masses will soon be able to enjoy this.

                This sort of rationalization is what makes people do really dumb things, all in the name of a lie they told themselves.

                Imagine if trust funds could find real use.... instead of techno-tasties for bored rich kids. Sigh.
                • Yes, if only we could redistribute all of that trust fund wealth to people that really needed it. But this has nothing to do with socialism.
                  • they made a provision that Americans couldn't accept titles of royalty without an action of Congress. This anti-dynastic move was designed to help buck the mindset that some are better than others, a very populist move.

                    In a similar way, and without the titles, we use trust funds to create dynasties, ersatz royalty. These incorporate bodies of funds only occasionally serve the purpose of protecting those that need protection-- youth, the handicapped or misfortuned. Today, they're bags of money to hand to the
                    • So where is the line then. A few years ago, we expanded our home to add another bedroom and replace/expand the master bath. The cost of the project was about $50,000. A bit over half of that was for the bathroom. Is this exhuberant; it is if you live in an apartment and can't afford anything else, but not if you live in a bigger house that already had a large master bath.

                      Likewise, undoubtedly the first indoor bathrooms were considered rediculous wastes of money. The first outhouses were probably seen t
                    • So where is the line then. A few years ago, we expanded our home to add another bedroom and replace/expand the master bath. The cost of the project was about $50,000. A bit over half of that was for the bathroom. Is this exhuberant; it is if you live in an apartment and can't afford anything else, but not if you live in a bigger house that already had a large master bath.

                      It might exhuberant, but it's plausibly exhorbitant. So, that's $25K for each bathroom. Very McMansion-ish, but not irrational.


                    • First, you caught the word choice error, typing one thing while thinking another.

                      Second, we didn't have two bathrooms added. We had the master bath replaced, and a bedroom added under it on the ground floor (technically a little sitting room was also added to the master bedroom and a utility room next to the new bedroom). House size prior to the addition was 1900 square feet. After the addition it is 2700 square feet. Hardly a McMansion. You have to remember, that to add onto an existing house, you hav
                    • We're close, I believe.

                      Your knowledge of AIDs is pretty dusty.... it's gone beyond needle users and gay anal sex into the mainstream of Africa. But people are people, and the infection vectors around the world will disfavor the promiscuous/practitioners of sex where vectors commonly exist. In this country, four of my friends died in the early stages of the pandemic. Nothing could help them. Today, they'd be alive, but with difficult prognosis.... and they were all insured and had money. That money and their
          • You're right, it is reprehensible that in a free society people are allowed to use their money, the money they worked for, however they want.

            Not really, but what is reprehensible is that in a world where $200,000 bathroom entertainment systems exist, people still commonly starve to death or die of curable diseases for lack of fifty cents worth of vaccine.

            Bring on the nytimes and the socialist overlords so the people that are willing to work themselves into success can be stripped of the fruits of their labo

            • Your phrase "dregs of society" suggests that you think rich people are somehow better or more deserving than poor people.

              This is exactly the problem. My argument is the opposite. Rich people are no better or more deserving then anyone else. They just work harder or are smarter than people that don't make as much money (unless they are rich through inheritance, in which case they usually end up pissing it all away - see the parable of the rich man's idiot son). My phrase "dregs of society" suggests that
              • They just work harder or are smarter than people that don't make as much money (unless they are rich through inheritance, in which case they usually end up pissing it all away - see the parable of the rich man's idiot son)

                There are some other possibilities -- they could be rich because they are more willing to abuse their fellow man to make a buck (e.g. mob bosses, drug lords, sweatshop owners, slumlords), or because they were lucky enough to be supported by wealthy/influential patrons or parents that make

      • I think what he was trying to say was that although people should be allowed to do it, it's a waste. I have no problem with people doing this, as the money will eventually go to someone else (Employees of the businesses that sell these products, shareholders, the employees/shareholders of the businesses these people buy things from, etc.), who may or may not do something more useful with it.
    • Yes.

      But in terms that will affect os all, I'm seeing thousands of badly adminnned boxes just waiting for the next worm to come along and zombify them.

      Thousdands of too-fast, over-price machines with too much bandwidth, on all the time, just waiting for instructions from some pimply-faced, 13-year-old darklord.
    • Where do you think the $200K goes? It goes to the installers, the people on the assembly line who built it, etc, etc.

      It's actually far preferable for the money to be spent giving people jobs than just handing it out to poor people and keeping them in the poverty cycle.

      This attitude reminds me of the luxury tax on yachts in the 80s intended to "punish the rich bastards who can afford a yacht". Of course, what actually happened was the rich had work done elsewhere, and the people who were actually hurt we

  • I have to wipe with the other one but very accute observation young 733t slashdot/yahoo troll.
  • always at work (Score:5, Informative)

    by rpillala ( 583965 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @09:07AM (#14641241)

    I cringe whenever I see ads for technology to take your workplace anywhere. With _______ you can be at your desk wherever you go!

    That just means you're always at work. I'm sure executives want to be able to reach employees at all times, but there's some value in being unreachable when you're not on the clock. Yes, for certain applications it's important for certain mission critical people to be always there, but I don't think most business is like that.

    Read The Electronic Sweatshop [campusi.com] by Barbara Garson. It's a very quick read and eye-opening.
  • The bathroom is missing this [engadget.com]. I saw it in person at MacWorld in January. I believe we have now officially crossed the line on acceptable iPod accessories/gear.
  • Showers show stock quotes.
    Mirrors with tickers instead of stickers.
    Jacuzzi with hotline to Yakuza.
    Stock of news-toilet-paper.
    You will know that MSFT dropped by 0.02 points but you won't know where your towel is.
    Ah, the modern world where even sanitation devices can drive you to insanity.
  • My favorite news outlet was reporting [theonion.com] on this like 7 years ago.

    Truly, the cyberdump was heralded long ago.

    From that article:

    Scoscia noted that "Number 2.0," as Silicon Valley insiders have dubbed it, will be cross-platform compatible and fully 2K Flushes compliant. In addition, he said, it will feature significantly wider, more comfortable bandwidth to accommodate even the most massive user download.
  • by adius ( 613006 )
    Why bring devices with you to somewhere that may have microscopic particles of urine and feces? Some which may be airborne. I'd prefer to keep my hands empty.
  • Nothing new here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Saturday February 04, 2006 @11:16AM (#14641611) Journal

    Nothing new here. My Dad was a policeman in Kansas City Missouri in the 1970s. During morning drivetime, he'd do traffic reports for WDAF - from our bathroom. He'd listen to a police scanner for cops reporting accidents or stuck in traffic. Hundreds of policemen everywhere all over the metropolitan area were a lot more effective than one lone traffic reporter in a helicopter or airplane. He'd jot down what he'd heard and extemporize a report via phone every 15 minutes. And at the same time he'd be doing his morning routine of bathing, shaving, etc. He'd do the afternoon drivetime as well, from anyplace where he could plug in his scanner and get a phone (this was pre-cell-phone). He did this for years, and was considered the most effective and reliable traffic reporter in the market.

  • Can somebody explain me why we need TOUCHSCREEN monitors in a BATHROOM? :-S

    I'd rather have voice recognition, thanks.
  • In the late 19th to early 20th century with the development of the automobile and mass production came the need for mass consumption. Out of this necessity was borne marketing: the discipline that aims to convince people that they need things more than they really do. While marketing tactics have been around for a lot longer, marketing as a discipline has had a little under a century to hone its techniques.

    Along comes the 21st century, and with it, immense knowledge to build really cool gadgets. But rathe

  • Could also be that some people want to surf for porn while they're in the shower. But I'll sleep better at night NOT knowing if that's the case.
  • Now you can watch p0rn and clean-up in real time.
  • I grew up with magazine rack in the bathroom, and it has been my experience that most home bathrooms still have some reading material, even if its just a stack of Reader's Digests on the counter.

    We still have the magazine rack but since my wife got a Palm T5 with a wifi card it's been largely ignored in favor of the internet.
  • I never did understand why some people seem to spend so much time in the loo, it must be a blocked up meat eater thing....I guess they can use the time to surf the net and learn about colon cancer. ;-)
  • Who spends enough time shitting to warrant this? If it takes that long for people to take dumps, don't they have serious hemroid problems? Isn't it a waste if 30% of your life is spent shitting?
  • Those who spend to much time reading/playing/straining on the toilet should beware giving themselves a hernia. Painful, and expensive to correct.
  • ..the nasty viruses you can get using the computer on the crapper?

    This sigline left intentionally blank.
  • Captain's log.

    *ta dum tssss*


    Oh, screw you all!

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev