While in recent years Japanese toilets have been on the rise in the West, Japan itself seems to be moving to another technological level. Indeed, a Japanese company recently presented a display system with floating pictograms. This innovation also responds to a problem related to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Floating pictograms like holograms
In 2019, we mentioned the fact that Japanese toilets are seeing their sales increase outside Asia, especially in the countries of the Western world. Remember that these toilets are true concentrates of technology at the service of the user, particularly in terms of comfort. Heated seat, hot air dryer and anti-odor ventilation, there are many possible functions. It can also be a question of self-cleaning washlets, or even raising and lowering the bowl automatically. In addition, some even play music to allow the user to fully relax.
In a statement (PDF / 2 pages) published on February 9, 2021, the company Murakami Corporation unveiled – along with Parity Innovations – a whole new type of Japanese toilet. It is a question of a display system based on floating pictograms such as holograms. According to officials, these toilets respond to a rather specific problem.
Usually, Japanese toilets have a multitude of buttons logically related to different functions. However, the health crisis linked to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 lends itself rather poorly to this kind of configuration, especially when it comes to public toilets.
An innovation to be extended to other devices
You will understand, it is about buttons that seem to float above the toilet. The display includes infrared sensors capable of detecting the presence of a finger crossing the virtual buttons. Thus, the use of the toilet is done entirely without contact. In addition, the buttons can be adapted to the user and the manufacturer is currently working on translating the Japanese characters currently visible on the buttons into several languages.
Still within the framework of currently reinforced hygiene precautions, this type of display could adapt to many other devices. These include elevator buttons, digital codes, keypads for cash dispensers and other reception terminals that can be found, for example, in hospitals and other services. Another application could concern the kitchen, where it would become possible to control appliances without having to touch them (coffee maker, oven, hotplates, etc.).
Finally, Murakami Corporation explained that it had already provided samples to various equipment manufacturers as well as to hospitals. Above all, this company is already planning a large-scale production from 2022.