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Kohler’s smart toilet promises a ‘fully-immersive experience’

1/9/2019

CES has barely begun, but 146-year-old plumbing company Kohler has already stolen the show with what will undoubtedly be 2019’s hottest gadget: an “intelligent toilet” with built-in surround sound speakers, ambient mood lighting, and Amazon Alexa voice controls.

Truly, we live in an age of wonders.

Kohler’s Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet is one of those strange products that draws so heavily on buzzwords and tech trends that it’s indistinguishable from parody. In a press release, Kohler promises that customers will enjoy a “fully-immersive experience” thanks to the many “lighting and audio enhancements” of the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet. They’ll be able to set the mood, using voice commands to cue up music and customize the lighting, all while Kohler’s PureWarmth toilet seat add-on toasts their behind to their preferred temperature.

The only blessing is that Kohler isn’t advertising the product as “artificially intelligent” or “AI-powered” — the empty epithets usually given to gadgets with tacked-on voice controls.

As the “2.0” suggests, this isn’t actually Kohler’s first foray into connected bathroom gadgets. The company unveiled its Kohler Connect line-up at last year’s CES, with a smart shower, smart mirror, and smart tub to keep their smart toilet company.

Not much has changed since then. There have been some minor tweaks (the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror now supports Google Assistant in addition to Amazon Alexa, for example, and the lighting now uses the Philips Hue API) but the basic offering remains the same. You get music, you get lights, you get Kohler’s PerfectFill™ bathtub technology drawing you a bath to your “preferred preset temperature and desired depth with a simple voice command.” Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution brought us to this.

The main news is that Kohler has finally released pricing for these devices, as reported by CNET. Its smart mirrors start at £1,249 for the 24-inch version, going up to £1,624 for the 40-inch size; the DTV+ Shower System with voice commands and spa presets costs £3,000; the free-standing bathtub, part of the Veil Lighted Bathroom Collection, costs £4,849; and the star of the show, the Numi Intelligent Toilet, goes for £7,000 (or £9,000 in black).

Anyway, if you feel like your life has been missing an app for your bathroom and a fanfare when you use the john, you can find out more about Kohler’s Connect line-up on the company’s website. Get ready to immerse yourself, fully.

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