Rexburg locals invent ‘PU’ device to remind kids (and adults) to flush
Published at | Updated at
REXBURG– PU isn’t just what people say when finding an unwanted surprise in their toilets, it’s the name of a locally-created product, which aims to change the way kids use the bathroom.
“We came out with a sensor that plays a sound file when you’re done using the bathroom,” PU inventor and co-owner Trever Plastow says.
The PU potty training assistant is an infrared sensor that knows when a child, or anyone, is near the toilet. When they walk away from the porcelain throne an audio recording of mom’s voice reminds them to flush. That voice can be changed to say anything. Plastow and co-owner Barratt Barson says the product makes a difference in a bathroom’s cleanliness.
“I have six kids and we have two bathrooms, and every time I walk in there’s a present left behind… it’s pretty gross,” Plastow says. “We basically wanted to solve that problem.”
Barson says they initially started working on the PU about year ago during a product development class at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
They didn’t initially set out to create PU though. The team’s first idea for a project was an electric car jack to better help people change a tire.
“We started doing customer interviews to find out what the demand would be for that. Nobody wanted one,” Plastow says.
Barson says their next move was to take to Facebook and find out what the public really needed. They found out in multiple posts that parents were struggling with the problem of getting their kids to flush the toilet — thus the PU was born.
“We’ve had different designs from something that would be on the floor, that would be foot censored, something that would attach to the toilet and something that would be attached to the wall,” Barson says.
Eventually they came up with their current design that sits on back of the toilet.
Barson says the product was geared toward helping children, but because of the capability to record different messages on the device, it can be used for almost any kind of reminder and even practical jokes.
“It’s been a fun time seeing people get creative and excited about putting different messages on there,” Plastow says.
Currently, the company has their product on Kickstarter.com and are hoping for enough pledges to begin the manufacturing process. People can donate to the company or purchase a PU package to help fund the company. The project will only be funded if the company reaches its goal.
“We’re trying to change hygiene one bathroom at a time and to make it a fun thing,” Plastow says.