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Question Of The Day

What Will Toilets in the Future Be Like?

In 20 years, when you're shitting in space, you'll be glad you read this article.
Phoebe Hurst
London, GB

Photo via Everyone enjoys a bit of toilet humour. Shit. Cock. Balls. Fanny. Hahahaha, see? It turns out even multibillionaire super-nerd, Bill Gates is a fan. Last week, the Bill Gates Foundation awarded $100,000 to the California Institute of Technology for their prototype of a loo that turns poo into energy. Except this isn’t a joke, this is real. It might also be solar-powered. So what will these futuristic lavvies look like? How will the toilet of tomorrow work? What did you imagine the Jetsons pissing into when they left the room? Here are some people's suggestions, accompanied by drawings that they did for us (you can't really see them, but as long as you can read, you'll get the gist). Sophie, 18: Well I think the first thing would be an inflatable seat. And it would have to have feet like the ones that baths have. Like the little paws?
Yeah and it would need like, a hand that comes out of the back to give head massages. Especially useful when you’re feeling hungover. What about some entertainment?
Maybe a megaphone here that gives news updates. And I think it should have a secret compartment to hide a bottle of brandy and a packet of cigarettes in. And a hidden washing up liquid dispenser, so when someone flushes the toilet, bubbles will spill out everywhere. Bubbles of shit :( Matthew (left) and Raoul. Raoul: See how cats always land on their feet and toast always lands butter-side down? If you tape some toast to a cat, they’ll be continually spinning around. And that will power the flush?
Yeah, you use it like a generator. Cats don’t like water, though. That would be a very unhappy cat.
Sometimes you’ve gotta make sacrifices.
Matthew: How would you feel about having your excrement sucked from you? So you wouldn’t even have to push, just open your sphincter?
Yeah, you could just sit there, you wouldn’t even need to wash your hands. Chris, security guard (left) and Tyler, lifeguard. Chris: Furry seat. Almost like sitting on a lion or something?
And it could have like a little bookshelf, with graphic novels in. It looks a bit like a Pacman at the moment.
Faye, 26, actress: It’s going to have wings, it can fly so you can take it with you and it just hovers above you. That’s always useful.
What else? Maybe a little fridge on the side for snacks. I'm not even gonna ask what kind of snacks you eat while you're shitting. Joanna, 27, loan officer: There’d need to be something to convert the urine into some kind of energised gas which gets pumped into this turbine. Then does the gas just come out into the air?
No, it goes into some factory. So it’s like renewable and stuff.

Angela, art director: Let’s think about mixing the toilet with some kind of designer chair. Like one of those circular chairs that looks like a ball?
Yeah, or a diamond. I’m not sure if it’s practical. I guess you would sit somewhere in the middle. Then there’s a little hole here. Where does it all go?
It goes down here, where everything turns into a rainbow. Previously - Are You Gay?