Fitness Trackers Measure Heartbeat in Toilet Paper
“Toilet paper” and “fitness tracker” don’t normally come together in one sentence. Unless of course you’re a Chinese student with idle time on your hands.
Suddenly, the Web is talking about the bizarre news that toilet paper actually has a heartbeat. Who knew?
Thanks to people attaching their fitness trackers onto rolls of toilet paper (surely, they must have been bored witless to think of doing that), the world now knows that a roll of toilet tissue has a heartbeat.
And even Apple’s latest iWatch takes a leaf from Garmin, Weibo, and Fitbit to measure that same beating heart.
No word, as yet, on whether these plucky toilet roll testers tried throwing down a roll with an iWatch attached to check whether the latest iWatch sends an emergency call through to advise of the roll having a serious fall. But, it’s likely.
Joking aside, it’s a remarkable discovery.
Of course, fitness tracker manufacturers are denying this whole heartbeat theory. They put it down to something Apple calls photoplethysmography, or PPG for short (presumably because nobody can possibly pronounce it).
We contacted Dr Ewok Buddy, Chief Physics Procreator of the University of Manitoba to try to make sense of Apple’s claim. “Though largely unknown, the phenomenon is indeed real and occurs in this case because, like all matter, toilet paper rolls resonate with background cosmic vibrations that reflect the greater miasmal gas found throughout the Universe. What makes toilet tissue rolls so unusual is that they amplify this vibrational pulse through the central tube. So, in effect, they serve as a kind of insulated antenna and produce resonance amplication.
By receiving the signal through the tube and then filtering it as a result of the tightly wound toilet paper, the vibrational pulse, or PPG, is almost audible. That’s why fitness trackers pick it up. It’s a rather leisurely pulse, equivalent to someone having a gin and tonic just after lunchtime. Somewhere between 45-55 bpm.”
So, thanks to the idle tomfoolery of a few Chinese students experimenting with a couple of rolls of toilet paper and some fitness trackers, now we know. Toilet paper “hearts” beat to the same rhythm as the Universe.
And if you thought that was amazing, toilet rolls are not alone. We now know other things beat with PPG energy too.
You can pick up the same phenomenon on all sorts of plant based objects too. Most prominently bananas, cucumbers, and long butternut pumpkins, which amplify the signal due to their elongated shape (though, mysteriously, they tend to beat faster at 59-88bpm, for reasons Dr Buddy cannot explain).
Equipped with this new discovery, the world has changed in a small way. With the help of the humble fitness tracker, you now have something else to think about next time you grab a banana or reach out to the toilet paper roll.