Sometimes, when a tech thing gets very popular, lots of companies get very excited and have big ideas. Often, those ideas are toilet. But, rare and precious are the times when those ideas are literally toilet.
Such are the goings-on at CES in Vegas this week, where Kohler has put forward not just a smart toilet, but a whole smart bathroom ensemble. I’d joke more, but to be honest, I kind of feel bad for Alexa if this is the future she’s headed for.
Kohler’s Voltron of a smart bathroom is made up of a mirror, a shower, and a toilet, all powered up by the smarts of Alexa and the Kohler Konnect system (a little Mortal Kombat for us, but it’s their show). Kohler didn’t say specifically how much everything would cost or when it will be available, but I’d think about most of these things in terms of many thousands.
Alright, let’s dive in! Not into the toilet, preferably.
The Magic Mirror’s got nothing on this. The centerpiece of Kohler’s whole smart bathroom deal is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror. That’s because the mirror will have the mics and speakers needed to use Alexa — while all of their bathroom fixtures will have smart features, the voice commands will mostly be routed through the mirror. I’m now going to go sit down and think for a while after writing that sentence.
OK I am back. I am OK. There are actually some cool features here! The mirror has its own LED lights that can be dimmed or brightened with voice commands as needed, and there’s even a handy motion-activated light that will kick in at night. That’s a pretty good summation of the mirror, actually — little conveniences. Considering it’s basically one big Alexa speaker, you can just order bathroom supplies right when you see you need them. If you’ve ever seen that you need to buy more toilet paper, left the bathroom and forgot, and then had regrets later, you know what’s at stake.
Kohler plans to sell the Verdera mirror in 24″, 34″, and 40″ sizes sometime this year.
We like to have fun here, but in all seriousness, the shower part of this concept bathroom legitimately excites us. Why? Personalized shower presets. In this glorious new era, you can set temperature, water intensity, and spray type to your exact preferences. Individual people can make their own too, so if you’ve got one of those people in the house that likes cold showers, they can make one of those presets just for themselves!
You can make up to six presets, which can be selected using either voice commands (with an extra bridge unit) or the touchscreen unit on the wall. You’ll also be able to create and select your own personal shower playlist and try out some of their shower presets, which include a spa-style shower. What a time to be alive.
100% sign us up for this action. You can make all the jokes you want about Alexa on your toilet, and it doesn’t matter. I’ll just list what we’re looking at here — heated seat (with temperature control!), foot warmer, automatic release of air freshener, automatic opening and closing of the lid, automatic flushing, and, yes, a warm water jet for cleaning. If that’s the haul I get in exchange for letting Amazon listen to me do work in the morning, so be it.
Like the mirror, the Numi Toilet has automatic lighting that kicks in if someone comes in at night. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity for playing music. I prefer silence at that time, but to each their own. If there’s anything we’re going to slag, it’s the looks — the boxy, industrial look kind of reminds us of prison toilets, maybe crossed with a trash can. I’m not sure this is fitting into many interior designers’ plans!