Smart pants tell you when it's time to go to the toilet

(REUTERS) - A Japanese company has unveiled a device that will let you know ahead of time when you will need to go to the toilet.

Dfree, designed to reduce the problem of incontinence among the elderly, was unveiled by Triple W Japan at last week's Ceatec fair, outside Tokyo. Mr Ryohei Ochiai, part of solution development at Triple W said, "This device predicts faecal excretion. The device goes on your stomach and uses ultrasonic waves to monitor your internal organs and sends the data to smartphones to be displayed."

The firm said that letting the device tell users when it's time for a bathroom break will reduce the anxiety of those suffering from incontinence. Dfree fits on the user's underwear, but will require some tweaking before it goes on sale next spring.

Mr Ochiai said: "We are still in the process of looking at whether to use tape or belts to secure the device to the stomach. However, many elderly people are concerned about skin chafing. So we are looking at how to secure the device safely and solidly."  

By 2060, 40 per cent of Japanese will be pensioners, so Triple W thinks Dfree has much potential.  It also wants to develop a similar system to alert parents to their toddler's future bowel movements, which could be useful for toilet training.