At CES 2023, Withings presented a sensor for the toilet that automatically analyzes the urine of everyone who uses the toilet and sends the results to an app. The device is designed to help people keep track of their own health.
Testing capsule for three months
The device is composed of a reader and a cartridge containing a test capsule. A cartridge containing a test capsule is said to last for three months. In total, the device measures only 90 mm. It is hooked into the front of the toilet and is supposed to be able to detect urine automatically. A heat sensor is responsible for this. If the sensor detects that the liquid in contact with the device is urine, a pump inside the device is activated and pumps the urine into the test capsule. There it is analyzed and then drained back into the toilet via a device.
Results in app
The results of the analysis are transmitted to a smartphone app via WLAN connection. There, information on the pH value of the urine, the specific gravity, the number of ketone bodies and the vitamin C content can be found. These values primarily provide information about the supply of fluids as well as individual nutrients. In addition, cartridges can also be purchased that examine the urine for cycle markers. The app then also displays information about the cycle. In addition to the respective values, the app also displays behavioral suggestions in each case. For example, if low hydration is detected, it is recommended to drink water.
Since a toilet is often used by more than one person, the device should be able to distinguish between the urine of different people and thus correctly assign the results. To do this, low-energy radar sensors in the reader measure various aspects of the detected urine stream and use them to create an individual stream profile.
Price and availability
The urine sensor is expected to be available from the end of the second quarter of 2023. A starter set, which includes a cartridge (either basic values or cycle values) in addition to the reader, is expected to cost around 500 euros. A subscription model is also to be offered, with which new cartridges will be supplied in good time. In addition, this model includes in-app coaching to help achieve specific health goals. The subscription will cost 29.95 euros per month. It will also be possible to purchase cartridges without a subscription. However, the price for individual cartridges is not yet known.
A urine scanner of this kind for the user’s own toilet is a market first. Withings had previously specialized primarily in smartwatches with health functions. Whether the new device will be able to establish itself on the market remains to be seen. However, the fact that conventional urine test strips provide far more information than the cartridges from Withings is particularly skeptical.