Japan: Leading the World in Unique Innovations
It’s often remarked that America is the home of the unusual and the bizarre, but Japan takes the lead regarding toilet humour and quirky inventions. From outlandish variety shows filled with slapstick and raunchy jokes to surprising technological advancements, Japan never surprises the world.
The Rise of the “Toylet”
No, that isn’t a typo. The “Toylet” is Sega’s latest offering, a creative amalgamation of a urinal and a game console. Initially crafted for the Japanese bar and restaurant scene, this innovation takes toilet experiences to a new level. But what makes it unique?
A Gaming Experience Like No Other
Rather than the regular restroom break, the “Toylet” transforms the mundane act of urination into a fun, interactive game. When approaching these urinals, users can aim their stream at a strategically placed sensor. This sensor assesses various aspects of the urine, including intensity, volume, and speed. Based on these metrics, players can engage in one of five video games displayed on the console affixed to the urinal’s top. It’s a rather unconventional gaming metric.
Hirotaka Machida, the console’s lead producer at Sega, noted the unexpected universal appeal. “Initially, we assumed this quirky game would resonate with the younger crowd. But the real-world outcome was different. It appears everyone, irrespective of age, is having a blast.”
Toylet Price and Popularity
With a whopping price tag of 150,000 yen (approximately $1860 Australian dollars), the “Toylet” isn’t your average restroom fixture. Though Sega never intended to enter the consumer market with this product, it soon became apparent from its trials in various bars and restaurants that the public was interested in having these in their own spaces.
Addressing the Splash Issue
Urinals in pubs and bars worldwide, including Australia, have often been criticised for the “splash” factor. No bartender or maintenance staff enjoys cleaning up those messes. Being well aware of this concern, Sega integrated an infra-red device that halts the game if the player’s aim deviates too much. This ingenious solution significantly minimises potential mess, keeping the surroundings cleaner.
The Verdict in Australia
Though not yet approved for use down under, the Sega “Toylet” has stirred quite the conversation. While it seems like a fun and interactive concept, there are reservations. Some bar managers believe that it might introduce new issues like vandalism or confrontations among users, thus negating its appeal.
A sneak peek is available on YouTube for those intrigued by this innovative urinal game console, showcasing this remarkable Japanese invention in action.
As we look to the future, one thing is clear: the bounds of creativity and innovation, especially in Japan, are limitless. Only time will tell whether the Sega “Toylet” will become a global phenomenon or remain a quirky Japanese invention.
Gary Mays, born and educated in Auckland, New Zealand, has called the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, home since 1986. Currently, the Executive Director at Whywait Plumbing Pty Ltd and Aquatemp Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd. He’s a licensed plumber in Queensland and New South Wales. An impressive international business background includes New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore operations. Gary is known for his vigorous advocacy in plumbing, water conservation, sustainability, and small business growth. He is an influential and forward-thinking leader, a frequent voice in modern media for his industry insights and his deep dedication to ecological, environmental, and professional causes.