Putting potties in elevators may sound totally crazy but there’s a good reason why officials in Japan think that it might be a good idea.
Why would anybody stick a toilet in an elevator? It’s not like anyone is ever in there for more a couple minutes…unless they’re not. One might come in very handy if it breaks down with people trapped inside. This is why members of the Japanese government are currently looking into ways to make this weird idea a reality.
A massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck south of Tokyo in May. While there were remarkably no deaths or serious injuries reported, 19,000 out of Tokyo’s 620,000 high-rise elevators stopped working, trapping a total of 14 people inside for an average of an hour. While no unfortunate bathroom-related mishaps occurred, the possibility of someone having to go #2 while waiting to be rescued has officials worried. (A 2011 quake left a few people trapped inside one elevator for over nine hours…and things got messy.) Sticking potties in elevators might not be such a bad idea. But finding the right model could prove difficult.
Tokyo’s Japan Elevator Association Kanto Branch (or “JEA” for short) is in the process of doing just that. Certain elevators in the city now contain emergency supplies that include blankets, water, and boxes that double as toilets but the organization is eager to come up with something a little more technologically advanced. As you probably already know, futuristic toilets are very popular in Japan and at least a few companies have already come up with ones that might work great in elevators. Aqua Air & Technology debuted what they call “The Elevator Chair” way back in 2008 but it’s not too sophisticated.
The Elevator Chair may have to do for now but, given enough time, we’re confident that Japan’s toilet technicians will come up with one.