Thinking Tech

Finally, a urinal for girls

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The Pollee urinal should -- at long last -- enable women to relieve themselves like a man.

Few people would deny that one of the great advantages of being a man is the ability to pee standing up. Such versatility makes the process quick, efficient and convenient, especially considering that several urinals can be fitted inside any given restroom.

But that doesn't mean the opposite sex has to take this inherent inequality sitting down (alright, pun intended). After all, urinals were created to cater to the different ways men go about their business, all the while women have been forced to make due with one receptacle, which they often end up waiting in much longer lines for. So leave it to the Danish, the progressive thinkers they are, to address a long-overdue social injustice by designing a urinal that accommodates women and girls.

UiWe, a Copenhagen-based firm, recently unveiled the Pollee, a groundbreaking new concept that's similar to what you'd typically see in the men's room except it's designed to ergonomically jut out just enough to offer females essentially the same functionality. To put it quite frankly, the device should -- at long last -- enable women to relieve themselves like a man.

Well... almost. Women would still need to squat slightly and the design features railings that they can grab to maintain balance.

Even so, just the notion of women using a urinal symbolizes a pretty radical shift culturally. And to help women ease into this, for the lack of a better term, post-feminist frontier, the company has created three versions: the Pollee Shy station, which comes with four urinals, each separated by walls, the Pollee topless, which provides privacy from the waist down, and the openly communal Pollee Naked.

The prototypes were introduced and field tested at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, where the company plans to use attendee feedback to come up with a final product to be manufactured for public events such as concerts, festivals, and other outdoor functions. So far, early impressions have been positive.

Designer Christian Pagh told Dezeen magazine:

The Roskilde project was all about testing our idea: a simple, open-air pee solution for girls. Quite frankly: the girls’ response at the festival was overwhelming. We have talked to hundreds of girls and although we received ideas for improvement, the overall message was: We use it and we love it!”

Whether they'll catch on is anyone's guess -- although I wouldn't expect the long waits outside the ladies' room to disappear anytime soon. But at the very least, they'll have have a pleasant alternative to those dreaded stench shacks otherwise known as porta-potties.

Check out a video of the Pollee in action by visiting Politiken.dk

Images: UiWe

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure