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Yes, your toilet can be intelligent

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POSTED May 28, 2014 12:39 a.m.

Are you ready for a toilet smarter than you?

For a mere $6,100 – excluding tax, installation, and destination charges – you can have an Intelligent Toilet II.

Made by Japan-based Toto, this baby comes packed with more extras than your grandfather’s 1957 Chevrolet pickup. By the way, you could have bought four Chevy pickups new in 1957 for the price of a smart toilet and still have enough money left over to keep the tanks filled for at least a decade.

The high tech toilet synchs with your smartphone so you can use Bluetooth to take phone calls and plug into your playlist for music to do your business by. Yes, Intelligent Toilet II has just what you’ve always wanted on a commode – built-in speakers.

It also has a built-in bidet to clean yourself with water jets instead of pedestrian toilet paper. The seat is heated. There are built-in deodorant and carbon fiber systems to combat odors.

But that’s just for starters. It can also monitor your weight, analyze your body mass index, keep tabs of your blood sugar levels and read your blood pressure plus take other vital signs. This is all fed by WiFi to your smartphone, tablet or one of those archaic devices called a computer.

It gets even better. There is even a sample collector for urine, drying jets, and enough smartphone style buttons to keep even the most devoted tech geek happily preoccupied throughout their entire bathroom visit.

So far, more than 10,000 Intelligent Toilet IIs have been sold worldwide

Toto in partnership with American Standard is now rolling out stripped down versions of the world’s smartest toilet for between $650 and $2,000 in the United States. They still have spray nozzles, adjustable water temperatures, and a host of other upgrades including heated toilet seats.

And unlike it’s big brother Intelligent Toilet II you won’t need the services of an electrician to install since most bathrooms aren’t wired to extend power to the commode.

We’ve come a long way.

My mom and her siblings were using outhouses up until 74 years ago.

I understand the value of having your vitals checked every time you do your business – at least I think I do – but I’m not sure I’m ready to click on my smartphone to access an app coordinated with my toilet to provide a running history of my bowel movements and associated bodily fluid readings.

The bidet portion of Toto’s less-than-smart but smarter-than-porcelain toilet kind of makes sense although I readily admit I’m not prepared to run down to Home Depot, Schemper’s Ace Hardware or Orchard Supply Hardware to try and order one.

If you believe the folks at treehugger.com bidets reduce water consumption significantly.

While on average a bidet user per visit uses an eighth of a gallon of temperature controlled water to direct a cleansing spray at body parts that flashers and low-riders expose, it eliminates or greatly reduces the need for toilet paper. Some toilet paper is still needed for drying although EarthFirst types advocate using a communal towel.

The folks at treehugger.com say it takes 37 gallons of water, 1.5 pounds of wood and a decent amount of electricity to produce just one roll of toilet paper.

Compared to four gallons per flush and an eighth of a gallon for clean-up, toilet paper is the water consumption equivalent of releasing Shasta Dam’s contents to flush down into the ocean.

That said, there was a time when going to the bathroom was considered something you did in private. You never worried about your toilet being hacked.

And given the tendency of people to share all data and photos they collect of themselves via smartphones, I’m not ready to be updated on other people’s bowel movements and how their vitals were doing at each flush.

The worst part is Intelligent Toilet II is probably to future toilets what the Tandy 101 laptop sold by Radio Shack back in the Dark Ages of High Tech is to today’s Microsoft Surface laptop.

Anybody want to bet bitcoin on whether a start-up will come up with a way for interactive video games designed to mesh specifically with going to the bathroom?

Venture capitalists are probably already in the hunt for such a fledging company.

Meanwhile, the late Steve Jobs’ minions are likely in a hell-bent race against time with Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page’s folks at Google to devise a music service and/or social media tailored for the bathroom experience.

It almost makes you yearn for the days when a two-holer equipped with the latest Sears Roebuck catalog was considered cutting edge.



This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209.249.3519.

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