Play Lab / Exercise 3: Bathroom Habit Tracking: A Possible Future

We live in a world where personal fitness and health trackers, such as the Fitbit or Jawbone, are met by calorie counting apps, smart water bottles, and countless other technologies to help us stay healthy.

I am imagining a world where this same trend and fascination is applied to our bathroom and hygiene habits as well. What kinds of apps and devices would exist and what would they monitor? How could both of these health spheres help inform the other to optimize our health, fitness, entertainment, and perhaps even the environment? What kind of changes would take place regarding attitude toward health privacy?

Storytelling Scenario


A not too post modern bathroom is equipped with technology that helps the user monitor his or her bathroom habits, and encourages good ones. Such activities might include:


  • How long a shower is (could be a limit for water use)
  • Whether or not hair needs to be washed
  • Whether or not said person should shave
  • Reminder to wash your feet if they are exceptionally smelly…

Are there automatic shampoo and soap dispensers?
Are the accessories, such as razors digitized to track use or is there some external device that s track all of it?

Brushing teeth:

  • How often and for how long a user brushes his or her teeth
  • Whether or not they flossed
  • Whether or not they put in their retainers

Is this competitive — between housemates, family members, friends etc? What would this be based on, time brushing or quality of brushing?
Is this tracked by a smart mirror or by the tooth brush itself?

Smart toilet:

  • Urine composition and alert for signs of dehydration, infection, nutrition problems, etc.
  • Tracks frequency and length of use

Would this information be private or shared with a doctor? Would this work hand in hand with water and food intake apps/monitors? If it can predict regularity, would it be able to send reminders to go to the bathroom? Would it be able to suggest reading or videos to watch during that time?

How is this translated to the public bathroom? Is there a beacon that knows when you have entered a bathroom or is there a dock on public smart toilets?

Further considerations

Would this still remain as private as it currently is or would this information become competitive and perhaps shared with friends?

Would this be useful for parents to monitor the health of their children and make sure they have proper hygiene habits? If this was information that was shared from birth (with parents, doctors, etc.) how would our attitudes toward health privacy change?

What are all the necessary devices and how are they integrated into a single network and how is this information communicated to the user?

Would this extend into directly involving nutrition and fitness tracking as they related to health and hygiene?

How do people abuse/circumvent the system?