The humble toilet has a long history of innovation since primitive latrines first used water to flush away waste around 5,000 years ago.
The latest in bathroom breakthroughs is a sloped toilet designed to cut down the amount of time people spend on their comfort breaks.
According to news reports, a company from the U.K. called StandardToilet has filed a patent application for a toilet that slopes down at a 13-degree angle. The steep gradient means it will become uncomfortable to sit on after a few minutes.
The designer, Mahabir Gill, said the idea came to him after stopping off on the motorway to go to the loo. He wondered why there was such a long queue and then saw people coming out of their cubicles with their mobile phones.
Making it less comfortable when nature calls could reduce the amount of time workers spend on the toilet, saving companies billions of dollars each year.
Mr. Gill has built and tested a prototype and says that at 13 degrees, five to seven minutes is the maximum time someone can spend on the loo, after which it becomes uncomfortable.
Not only could his innovation boost employee productivity, but it could also be beneficial to health. Studies have shown there are risks involved in spending too much time on the toilet, such as haemorrhoids.
News of the innovation garnered a withering response on social media with one Twitter user advising “just sit on the 13-degree slope toilet backward for the opposite of the intended effect.”