Sunday | February 1, 2015
Microsoft Unveils Long-Awaited eToilet
A prototype of the new MS eToilet that Steve Ballmer had installed in his Las Vegas hotel room for use and demonstration.

LAS VEGAS (CAP) - Consumers will finally get a chance to own an eToilet, Microsoft's latest technical innovation that posts pictures to Instagram, surfs the web, and monitors personal hygiene. The device will retail for between $499 and $599 and should be available as early as next month.

"Americans spend an average of two weeks per year in the bathroom," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a group of IT professionals during an invitation-only party. "And as part of Microsoft's efforts to continue to make inroads in the home, we fully plan to capitalize on that time."

The eToilet is not unlike a regular toilet in its basic functions, but includes a 21-inch flat-screen monitor built into the toilet lid itself that swings out on a swivel arm when in use. Many of its functions are activated by touch, and the eToilet contains a proximity sensor that will protect the screen from spray during use or flushing.

Additionally, the eToilet's composition gauge will offer web-based dietary recommendations and guidelines based on the physical makeup of the material that is input into the device, and it has a delay mechanism to prevent flushing while someone is in the shower. However, arguably the most intriguing feature of the eToilet is the integration of Microsoft's patented eLoo technology that allows for the activation of remote call features.

"No longer will you need to watch the water climb to dangerous levels just to determine if you have a clog," said Ballmer. "The eToilet will detect that clog long before it's visible and will have it cleared before you even finish washing your hands."

The eToilet also features a developer API which allows for customization ranging from blue tooth access for over/under toilet paper dispenser determination to a series of mobile apps that provide remote control of all eToilet functions.

"The features on this thing are unbelievable," said John Biggs of CrunchGear.com. "Not only will its thermostat warm the seat when necessary, but it also puts the seat down when I forget. It's a marriage-saver!"

The eToilet has received a stamp of approval from the National Association for Continence, who said they think it will also revolutionize chatrooms and instant messaging.

- CAP News Staff

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