While last week’s announcement that Microsoft UK was working on a combination porta-potty and self-contained computer workstation turned out to be a ruse, ergonomically, the idea still has merit.
The iLoo, as the wired porta-potty was called, was touted as the alternative activity to reading in the restroom, and was slated to make its grand debut at concerts in Great Britain this summer. Ideally, workaholic iLoo visitors would have had the opportunity to truly multi-task and do their business while, well, doing their business. Ergonomically, that could add up to improved productivity.
The iLoo also had a comfort-side in addition to its potential productivity and performance bonuses. The suped-up portable toilet stall was to feature a flat-screen display that swiveled for easy viewing and presumably to cut down on glare, broadband internet access for speed and reliability to boost worker performance, and a portable wireless and waterproof keyboard that could be placed on the user’s lap, if desired, for comfort and to eliminate awkward postures from trying too hard to reach a fixed keyboard. The ergonomic chair, however, did leave a little to be desired with its rigid seat and its one-size-fits-all stature.
But, glowing reviews of the WWW.C-that-never-was aside, the convenience was bound to have a downside, too. While work-related efficiency might improve once the patron reached the iLoo, getting there might have proven to be quite a feat. If concert-goers thought the lines for the restroom were long before, just wait until the person in front of them downloaded all of his or her spam email.