New app locates nearest comfort room with bidet in case of emergencies

January 14, 2019 - 5:12 PM
Bidet shower
A bidet installed in the side of a toilet. (Pixabay/File photo)

A Filipino created a smartphone application that helps individuals find the nearest comfort room which has a bidet shower in case nature calls in the most inconvenient of times.

Mobile application developer Lawrence Velasco created an app called “San Bidet” that lists all of the toilets in the country with the certain plumbing fixture. Part of its app description reads:

“While you are exploring the Philippines, feeling the urge to poop may give you a sense of dread.”

“Traffic congestion, along with Metro Manila’s maze-like urban sprawl, will leave you desperate to find a clean restroom and most important of all, the rare bidet.”

“San Bidet helps you find a convenient place to answer the call of nature with a bidet in the Philippines.”

San Bidet app uses the user’s current location through the help of Google Maps and finds the nearest bidet with directions.

People can also add information on the bidets listed, report wrong locations and suggest how the app can be improved through its Facebook and Twitter page.

Velasco shared that he developed the app after having a “hard time” locating the nearest bidet near him when he needed to answer nature’s call.

“I was in a situation where I was at a public place and I had the urge to poop. I knew that there was a popular Instagram page (@ShittableBa, @MeronBangBidet) and (I) quickly scanned their profile on the best areas to poop near me,” he shared in an interview.

“But I had a hard time since they have so many posts and I just wanted the nearest toilet with a bidet from where I am. So at that point, I got the idea to make an app version of that concept,” Velasco added.

The San Bidet app is available in both Google Play and Apple Store.

The fascination with bidets 

Before the app’s creation, there were two social media accounts that listed toilets with bidets in them—”Shittable Ba?” and “May Bidet Ba?

The accounts have pictures of spotted toilets with amusing reviews. Both of them have a large amount of followers, indicating that the public’s need for the plumbing fixture has become unapologetic and bold.

“Shittable Ba?” is the original page that was launched in 2016 while “May Bidet Ba?” made waves in November 2018. The latter gained more following since it offered straightforward reviews of the toilets’ cleanliness and provided information on how strong bidets’ water pressures are.

How the bidet came to be

The bidet was invented by the French in the 1600s as a washing basin for a person’s intimate parts after sexual intercourse and horseriding.

It was kept in the bedroom or dressing room of aristocrats where they would use it to wash themselves, specifically their legs, genitalia, inner buttocks and anus.

The word “bidet” has its roots in the French term for “pony” which suggested the invention was supposed to be straddled.

Its earliest version looked like an ottoman with its basins inset in wooden furniture while the lids are made in leather, wicker or wood.

The 1700s ushered in a change to the bidet’s appearance that was considered the precursor of today’s design. From an ottoman-like fixture, it became a water-pump handle that was capable of spraying water in an upward motion from a refillable tank.

By the 1800s, the bidet’s placement was moved from the bedroom to the bathroom and it became popular across countries in Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

The design eventually evolved until it reached a modern look similar to what is used in the country today—a handheld shower that is attached to the side of the toilet.

The bidet is considered a more hygienic method of cleaning after oneself since residues of stool and bacteria are thoroughly washed away unlike that of a tissue paper or wipes.