There are so many potty training techniques being bandied about: potty training videos, potty training books, rewards systems (OK, bribery), late potty training, early potty training, sign language, potty training boot camps and even “elimination communication.”
Sure, handing out M&Ms or stars on a chart every time your child uses the toilet can be an effective way to get kids to ditch the diapers. But, my money’s on this one: Toylets.
You heard it here first, folks: Toilet training is going digital.
Word on the streets of Tokyo is that the entertainment company Sega has installed toilets in public places featuring urine-controlled games. How do they work? There’s a digital screen at eye-level, with a pressure sensor in the toilet/urinal. In order to play the games, you need to hit the sensors with your urine stream.
According to a report by AFP/Yahoo news, four types of “toilet” games are currently available:
“Graffiti Eraser” allows a user to erase virtual graffiti on a display screen by trying to aim urine at a pressure sensor in the toilet/urinal.
“Mannekin Pis” — named after a Brussels fountain depicting a urinating boy — measures the volume of the user’s urine stream.
“The North Wind and Her” blows a virtual girl’s skirt up into the air to varying degrees depending on the strength of the urine stream.
“Splashing Battle!” pits the user against the previous urinal user in terms of stream strength.
According to the AFP article, the “Toylets” are in a test period and will only be available at limited locations until January 31, “with no concrete plans to make them into actual products,” said a Sega spokesman.
If the popularity of Wii games in American households is any indication, I’d say that the future looks promising for these wee-wee games coming stateside. This could be a major boon for all you moms out there who are constantly cleaning up after little ones (and not-so-little ones) who sprinkle when they tinkle. While the games may gross you out, they might just help our little guys improve their aim. And to that, I say: Game on.
Photo: Sega Japan