The word potty has two different meanings – either a little toilet for toddlers, or a person or idea which is a little bit crazy.
And, this new device, launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, could be described as both.
It’s potty training but not as we know it. Previously, teaching little ones to use the toilet rather than stay in nappies or diapers may have focused on reward charts and reading books where the characters use the potty, like Pirate Pete’s Potty and Big Girls Use the Potty. But now teaching youngsters to answer the call of nature has gone digital.
Recent figures show a big rise in the number of toddlers being given their very own iPads so perhaps this was the next natural step.
The invention from CTA digital, is due to go on sale through Amazon in March for $39.99. Naturally, that price doesn’t include the iPad itself. You’ll have to supply one of those.
iPotty provoked plenty of jokes and double-takes at CES. Stuart Miles, who writes for the gadget website Pocket Lint, said: “When the Apple marketing bods said using the iPad was like child’s play, I don’t think they had this in mind.”
But the company’s product specialist Camilo Gallardo, said: “It’s novel to a lot of people but we’ve gotten great feedback from parents who think it’d be great for training.”
The toilet features the same features as most training toilets, including a removable plastic seat and potty bowl. But it also includes a splashguard and clear protector to make sure your expensive gizmo isn’t damaged by any missed aims.
The iPad holder rotates between vertical and horizontal views depending on what your child wants to look at while they spend a penny.
The new gizmo won’t come with special apps but there are potty training apps available to reward your toddler. Try It’s Potty Time, I Love Potty Training or Pull-ups iGo Potty.
If you’re having difficulty persuading your toddler to sit on the potty, perhaps this new gadget isn’t quite as mad as it first appears. The idea is to encourage your little one to stay put for as long as it takes.
The innovation has certainly had a mixed response so far among forum users. One person asked “April the 1st already?” and another simply says “tragic”. Another user said: “Um, anyone ever seen how inaccurate a boy is while potty training? That’s about the last place I want my $500 device.
Many people think it simply goes too far. Growing Your Baby writer Lisa Arneill says: “How connected does a two-year-old really need to be? Are we so enamoured with technology that we need to be tied to it every waking moment or could this be a treat that ‘you can play a specific game on the iPad’ if you go pee?”
The new model works with either the Apple iPad 2 and iPad 3rd and 4th generation models. At first, iPotty will just be available in America through Amazon.com but perhaps CTA will roll it out elsewhere if it proves popular in the US.
CTA is now looking at whether it can adapt the iPotty’s attachment for other brands of tablet.