iLoo II: This Time Its Porcelain

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-05-13 Print this article Print

Microsoft has pulled the shower curtain from the iLoo and admitted the wireless toilet was a hoax, but Wireless Supersite Editor Ross Rubin reports that some readers aren't laughing—they've already wirelessly enabled their own bathrooms.

Microsoft has blown the cover off the iLoo, admitting that there are no plans to marry the towel rack with the server rack; the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by the UK division of its MSN division. I for one am hopeful that the end of iLoonacy will end the compulsion of some readers to impress me with their mastery of scatalogical humor. Other readers, however, clearly inspired by the idea of truly pervasive wireless access, took the lead in putting the "TP" in "HTTP" (thanks Keith Loring). Bob Delyser notes, "Ive been doing it for eight months already. I use a Fujitsu pen tablet (Win CE) and wireless card and surf the Internet. And yes, often from Americas favorite reading room. Its more current than an out-of-date People Magazine, and the Favorites menu holds more than a magazine rack."
Dr. Lonn Myronuk, a psychiatrist who isnt afraid to experiment in his own "head," details the practical benefits to having a Porcelain Digital Assistant. "Now that we have a Wi-Fi network in the house, the addition of a CF Wi-Fi card to the Casio [Pocket PC] is a natural. I can now sync the device with an outlook account that has household-related to-do items and review the family schedule, as well as browse Web content. The form factor isnt great for web surfing, but the WiFi connection lets the AvantGo content to be updated without having to take the handheld out of the ensuite to dock at a workstation."
From a pen tablet to a Pocket PC, it looks like the wireless washroom is going downmarket, but not quite as cheap as I got it when I was able to access a WAP site using a pair of Cybiko devices (one acting as the base station) and software called CyWIG (for Wireless Internet Gateway). The Cybiko system works in the 900MHz spectrum. Unfortunately, between the flakiness of the connection and WAP itself, I wasnt able to get very far; however, the Cybiko systems are inexpensive enough that if one drops into an unfortunate location, you havent flushed $300 down the toilet, so to speak.

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