Some things seem utterly pointless until you experience them. Most people aren’t interested in an electric toilet that can pre-warm the seat and blast your nether regions with warm water. They fail to see the point…until they visit Japan, where such contraptions are common. Then, some tourists never look back.
Tourists are a growing market for these elaborate toilet seats, especially tourists from China. Panasonic, already a big name in other electronics, manufactures installable toilet seats and small battery-powered bidets, for people who aren’t interested in going to the effort of installing a whole toilet seat. People from all over the world want to bring these seats home…once they’ve experienced them.
Americans have never really taken to high-end toilets. with heated water and scented air, and sync with your phone via Bluetooth to learn your preferences.
You might get to see these electro-bidets in action the next time you buy a toilet, because Japanese toilet-maker Lixil has acquired a major U.S. toilet-maker, American Standard. The company plans to make their luxury butt-washers part of the company’s higher-end toilets, bringing this technology to the American mainstream. They might even be available at more reasonable prices than the $6,000 that Kohler charges for its Numi automated toilet.
Japan’s New Souvenir: The Toilet Seat [Wall Street Journal]