It took thousands of years for the humble toilet to evolve into the model we use today, but there's always room for improvement. With this in mind, Gareth Humphreys and Elliott Whiteley produced the Iota: a folding toilet concept that's smaller and more efficient than the typical loo.

Designed as a final-year project while Humphreys and Whiteley studied at the UK's University of Huddersfield, the Iota sports a novel folding flush mechanism that moves the entire toilet into an upright position. This also means it takes up just a third of the space of a standard toilet when not in use – perhaps making it a good fit for enthusiasts of tiny homes.

The Iota is also far more efficient, using just 2.5 liters (0.6 US gallons) of water per flush, compared to 6 liters (1.6 US gallons) for an average toilet. The designers reckon that Iota could save an impressive 10,000 liters (2,641 US gallons) per person, per year, in typical use.

The folding bowl contains a built-in U bend that disengages from the waste pipe when in the seated position. When the flush mechanism is activated by folding the toilet into its upright position, the U bend reengages simultaneously. There's an air-tight seal to ensure that the waste stays right where it needs to be.

Though a concept at present, Humphreys and Whiteley have submitted a patent application for their design, and the pair are looking to sell the idea in the future. In the meantime, Iota has been entered into the RSA's Re-invent the toilet competition.

The demonstration video below was created by Humphreys and Whiteley's animation company.

Source: Behance via Design Boom

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