CES 2019 thinks the next smart gadget you need in your home is a toilet - Stuff

CES 2019 thinks the next smart gadget you need in your home is a toilet

Okay, okay, we’re really trying to get through this without too much toilet humour. We promise, it’s the Number Two thing on our mind besides telling you about one of the odder trends for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year. Smart toilets are apparently going to be a thing, either for the critters that occupy our homes (pets, not kids or creepy crawlies) or for the larger bipeds that look after said critters.

The $7,000 (R97,000) smart toilet

Say hi to a throne that Elvis would probably be happy to expire on — though the addition of Alexa to the Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet probably could have gotten him some sort of medical assistance. Or at least let him order some interesting things on the way down. Not that anyone’s planning on doing anything other than enjoying this excessive take on the traditional toilet. It’s got integrated adjustable lighting in it (for those night-time eliminations), speakers in case you need to drown out some noise with a Spotify playlist and it actually does have Alexa — we guess you can order things from Amazon while dropping the kids off at the pool? Seriously though, Alexa actually allows for voice control of the Numi system.

There are also some more practical features. The Kohler Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet keeps an eye on water efficiency, which seems like a very useful feature here in South Africa at the moment. The seat is heated and there are “…personalized cleansing and dryer functions”. Sounds like a good set of things to have, though not something we’re likely to experience. It’s not just because Kohler’s tech is new and overseas, it’s that it costs $7,000 (just shy of R100,000) — and that’s before you start adding in any of Kohler’s other smart bathroom tech.

We’re not in Kansas any more?

This is Toto’s Africa…. wait, it’s Toto’s Neorest NX2 intelligent toilet, which might look like some kind of fancy ice-maker or ice cream machine (don’t think about chocolate!) but it’s actually quite a high-tech piece of bathroom equipment. The bowl is titanium dioxide-fired, so you’re going to battle to destroy it — no matter how much KFC you eat. It’s also pretty good at destroying things — bacteria, specifically, using an ultravoilet light. ToTo reckons that the combination “…initiates a photocatalytic process that breaks down even microscopic waste particles.” Um… good. Nothing we hate more than microscopic waste.

The system will automatically open and close the lid (there goes that argument) and the toilet knows enough to flush itself. It can also be flushed via remote control, if you’re keen on messing with your house-guests. There’s temperature-controlled heated seat, built-in deodoriser, an air dryer and a night light. If you’re looking for the most expensive toilet on this list, this is it. The Neorest NX2 will set you back a mighty $13,000 — that’s about R180,000 in South African moneys. It’s probably worth it.

The question is: Will the cat actually use it?

You know who else poops inside, besides birds and other things that live in cages/tanks? Or people, we guess. Cats, that’s the correct answer. And CES 2019 has a new and possibly expensive solution for them that they — very cat-like — will probably ignore. But we appreciate the thought. Meet Lavviebot. Billed as a smart litter box for cats, Lavviebot isn’t quite as smart as the rest of the devices on this list but it’s perhaps the best automatic cat litter box we’ve seen. There are few items that can’t be replaced on your own and it basically acts like a fine-toothed comb for poo (how’s that for a mental image) when in operation — hopefully not while kitty is doing his thing.

It still needs to be manually cleaned every so often and we’d hate to see the results if you forget to pop in a new plastic bag, but Lavviebot is supposedly easy to wash, considering you’re the forgetful type. It also keeps its litter levels topped up, thanks to a 6.5 litre storage area. It isn’t on the market yet, but Lavviebot’s creators have an IndieGogo campaign planned for May this year. No, we don’t know pricing.

There better be a Shiba on the branding for this one

We guess you could teach your dog to poop inside as well. Everyone else seems to be doing it. But don’t do it unless you have your hands on the Inubox — an automated toilet for dogs. Inubox is an automated panel that lives next to a wall, capable of detecting when your dog is er… ‘taking itself for a walk’, we guess. Once the download has been completed and your canine is off to do canine things, the Inubox closes up and cleans the collection surface. The download itself? That’s bagged for disposal. When the unit is full, that is. Ooh, soggy…

The Inubox is still in the works, with a Kickstarter campaign in the offing soon. We guess some time after CES has concluded we’ll see how many folks really, REALLY want one. We’re hoping that the company has more than one size in mind for the Inubox, because South Africans tend to be fond of some very large dogs. Jack Russel-sized just isn’t going to cut it. In the meantime, we guess it’s time to teach the pooch to poop in only one specific spot. That shouldn’t be difficult at all…

Stuff South Africa's online editor and print assistant editor, Brett Venter has churned out more words on more titles than most journalists will in a career. He's kind of shy.

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