No aspect of life is safe from innovation and that includes your poop. Yours and your pet’s.
Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet
World renowned bathroom fixture innovator Kohler has developed a toilet with built in Alexa connectivity for the ultimate in multitasking. You know, for those times when you need to add bathroom tissue to the grocery list or want to listen to your favourite playlist to pass the time. There is even an ambient light setting – perfect for those middle of the night trips to the loo.
The Numi 2.0 definitely has sleek, clean lines. From a design perspective, this toilette (it’s so fancy, I feel like we need to use French here) would not be out of place in the modern bathroom. Numi is all one piece; there are no nooks and crannies on the outside as with traditional models where dust tends to collect. It is not mentioned whether or not the bowl is self-cleaning; however, there is a deodorizing function, heated seat, warm air vent at the base to keep your toes from freezing on cold tile, and of course a built-in bidet with drying capability – like a car wash for your caboose.
While this Alexa-powered Kohler toilet allows you to play music with a complementary light show, it does come with a very hefty price tag – $7,000 USD for white or $8,000 USD for black. Aside from the exorbitant cost, we all know that personal assistants like Alexa and Google collect data from the environment they’re placed in. Do we really want them listening to some of our most private daily moments? Perhaps a better use of Alexa connectivity in the bathroom would be for her to listen and make sure people wash their hands after doing their business.
Save AI Poop Tech for the Dogs … and Cats
On the feline side, two CES exhibitors offer their own versions of a tech savvy litter box. Both are self-cleaning, claim to absorb odours, can be used with multiple cats, and can even tell you if kitty is unwell based on her/his, um, deposits.
Footloose by Petato
Currently the most funded pet product on Kickstarter, this option looks to take up a fairly minimal footprint in terms of floor space. Despite being dubbed by the manufacturer as “cat centric”, the Footloose litter box seems a little bit of a tight fit for the animal. It also requires special bags, so the cost of and method of obtaining them may be an issue. Pricing for the unit is currently set at $249 USD with expected delivery of June 2019.
The LavvieBot litter box is more cumbersome than Footloose, but seems to have more room for the cat. It vaguely resembles a laser printer, so it would blend into your home surroundings better than a traditional litter box. An exact cost is not listed on the site; however, those who sign up via email will receive $200 off at launch.
If you have pets of the canine variety, they have not been forgotten. Inubox has developed the world’s first automated dog toilet. Not yet available mass market, the Inubox will be launched this week at CES. Following the launch, the company hopes to fund initial production of the system via Kickstarter.
The Inubox dog toilet appears to be a solution to apartment/condo dwellers who may not always have the means to take Fido out to relieve himself. It would also be a great backup for commuters whose arrival home is delayed. The only question would be about training your dog to use Inubox as an alternative if they are already used to doing their business outdoors. Similar to the above-mentioned litter boxes, Inubox promises easy clean up and no odour – a win all around.
Necessary or Not Worth It?
All of this intuitive technology is definitely a useful diagnostic tool because pets can’t tell you if they aren’t feeling well. On that note, neither can babies. Will the diapers of the future send you a text if junior is teething (pee tends to be more acidic when they are); if they are dehydrated, or alert you to change the diaper before a leak happens. On second thought, diapers are expensive enough as it is, so let’s not go that far.