Controlling Your Toilet With a Smartphone

Technology has changed quite a lot about the way we live our lives. Transportation has evolved by leaps and bounds, with hybrid and electric vehicles hopefully creating a pathway to an end of our reliance on fossil fuels. Business is no longer the same, with video conferencing replacing costly travel and mobile technology and cloud computing beginning to do away with the need for faxing, printing and physical mailing. Computers are in our schools, in our automobiles and in the hands of small businesses, giving even the tiniest mom and pop shop the ability to take credit cards and track spending. But what about technology in the bathroom? Well, thanks to one Japanese company, there’s now an app for a toilet.

The company is called Lixil. They’ve been making toilets for years, but never like this before. Lixil’s new toiled, called “Satis”, is powered by Google Android technology, and comes with a downloadable app for your smartphone or tablet device. Why do you need an app for a toilet? Well, because this isn’t any sort of toilet you’ve seen before.

First of all, the lid slides open and closed again with a tap of the control on your smartphone. You can even flush it remotely using your phone. The toilet plays relaxing music, emits tones and sound effects through built-in speakers along the toilet’s base, and can even provide you a heated seat for your daily constitutional. And best of all for those fans of European-style bathrooms, a built-in bidet function.

The Satis will launch with an initial three models, and Japanese consumers can expect to get their hands on one starting early in 2013. But outside of the gimmicks or as some sort of status symbol, why would a homeowner want something like this? To get down to that answer, you’ve got to understand the history of Japan. This Asian superpower has never been big on comfort in the bathroom. In fact, if you head to a lavatory within their subway system and you still might be greeted with a simple hole in the tiled ground. No bells and whistles there, and shockingly, still in use in many places. As Japan has modernized, citizens and designers have been compensating in the other direction, pampering their rears whenever possible.