'What the hell is this?' Fury over new bathroom trend

A man’s frustration over a new bathroom trend has sparked an online debate about the increasing presence of technology in everyday tasks.

Writer Tim Maughan vented his annoyance at having to download an app on his phone to use a bathroom in the US city of San Francisco on Twitter on Saturday.

He posted an image of the smart toilet’s entrance, which has since attracted more than 10,000 likes. 

Writer Tim Maughan vented his annoyance at having to download an app on his phone to use a bathroom in San Francisco. Source: Tim Maughan/Twitter

“First day proper in San Francisco, been here about an hour. Wanted to take a piss. Refused to install app so server printed me out a single use QR code. How do you people accept living like this?” he wrote.

Numerous people were left stunned, with many saying “this is the future”.

“What the hell is this?” one man wrote. 

“This is new and it’s awful,” said another.

A handful of locals said they had never seen such a request but that it might have been installed to deter homeless people from using the bathroom. 

A single-use QR code printed out for Mr Maughan. Source: Tim Maughan/Twitter

The Californian city has seen a dramatic increase in homelessness over the past few years, with an estimated 8000 people living on the street, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“Helps to keep the needle-using drug addicts from turning restrooms into health-hazards,” a man said. 

Other Twitter users from around the world said they had experienced similar situations. 

“At this mall in Chengdu I had to scan my WeChat code for toilet paper … the future is garbage,” another man wrote. 

“I went to a cafe in London that had a code for the toilet that you had to spend money to get. There was a queue so people were just holding the door open for the next person,” somebody else chimed in.

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