Around the world much buzz may be generated about the iPad, the new Microsoft phone, the latest hot, girl robot and any number of digital advancements. But in some circles, the talk has definitely gone down the toilet. In a very literal sense. Commonly referred to as the facilities, the loo, the bathroom and the restroom – though it’s probably rare to find someone resting in a public one – toilet technology and advancements, especially in Japan, is a much discussed topic. Some places in the world continue to get by with the most rudimentary version of toilets – or none at all. And while Americans may be used to the bare bones, get your business done sort of facility, the ones in Japan are said to have control panels rivaling the Starship Enterprise. Beyond the built-in bidets and heated seats, there are toilets with sensors that raise or lower the seat when someone is in the vicinity. Some include special deodorizing sensors and sanitizing features. Then there’s the case of the tourist who thought she heard rainforest sounds while in a toilet but was relieved to learn this was a part of the technology aimed at masking bathroom sounds. Go figure. Japan is a world leader in several areas, but in this case they are the world’s leader in high-tech toilets. While smart phones have apps for health care, Japan’s smart toilets can perform urinalysis and report findings such as diabetes to your computer.Tourists complain that while the computers may be user friendly, the high-tech toilets are not. And it probably takes an engineering degree to master the functioning. Meanwhile, it is said that 30 percent of Japanese live in homes without flush toilets. Meaning they cannot take advantage of the warm-water washing and blow drying features – and just for the record, that’s not for your hair.