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Shanghai toilet will alert staff if you take longer than 15 minutes

Shanghai has built around 150 smart public toilets, but you’d better not spend longer than 15 minutes inside or an alert will be sent to municipal workers to check on you.

The new toilets are part of China’s efforts to extend AI into almost every aspect of daily life and come hot on the heels of smart rubbish bins and AI-powered traffic lights.

Each toilet stall has a human body sensor, using infrared rays and ultrasound to detect the person inside and how long they have been sitting there, according to a document released by the city government.

Sensors also monitor the air quality inside the cubicle and a water-saving feature will adjust the water level based on occupancy time.

“I think it’s OK with me but probably not a good idea to read a novel inside the toilet,” Frank Lin, a 22-year-old Shanghai native, told the Post on hearing about the initiative.

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