Not a fancy designer store but this orb is actually a voice-controlled public toilet in the heart of Tokyo


Is there any thought more repulsive than using a public toilet? The answer would be yes in many parts of the world but not in Japan. The nation has done some ground-breaking work when it comes to bathrooms, both public and private. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban had recently designed two public toilets with transparent glass walls in Tokyo that turned opaque on being locked from inside – thereby giving the user the much-needed privacy. But is privacy all one needs in a public toilet?


The chief creative officer at TBWA\HAKUHODO, Kazoo Sato, has recently designed the most hygienic public toilet as part of The Tokyo Toilet Project, a Nippon Foundation initiative. Located in Tokyo’s commercial center, Shibuya, this toilet is fully voice-activated. Residents can put the fears of surface contact, flushing their business by stepping on toilet levers and opening the door with toilet paper to rest.

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All you need to work the 12th variant of the collection is a voice to open and close the door, flush, wash hands, and even play music. The toilet barely looks like an ordinary place; its white spherical building looks more like a sanitation orb that fell from space.


The toilet is designed with a high ceiling to aid airflow and prevent odors. The designer Kazoo Sato ecstatically shared, “If this toilet could deliver a ‘Clean City Tokyo’ image to the world, I would be extremely happy.” Kyoto-based startup Parity Innovation also came up with a similar Floating Pictogram Technology that projected a control panel through infrared sensors with no physical contact.

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[Via: Design Taxi]

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