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Opinion writers weigh in on smart toilets
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012

Some people were certainly excited by news that Lixil - a Japanese company that describes itself as a "link to good living" - had produced a series of toilets with futuristic features that integrate with smartphones. These products are expected to hit the international market in February. However, an opinion writer from the Indonesian newspaper The Jakarta Post found Lixil's Satis toilets to be a prime subject for mockery. Specifically, he took issue with the Satis' ability to "talk" with users.

"I don’t know about you, but I greatly prefer answering the call of nature in non-intelligent items," wrote Nury Vittachi. "A receptacle of utter brainlessness, dumb as a typical YouTube comment-writer, would be ideal. There are times in life when witty commentary is not required."

Most likely in the spirit of sarcasm, Vittachi went on to say the best parts of the Satis toilets would only benefit the whims of "deeply evil people." For instance, commenting on how the Satis lets users keep a digital diary detailing their toilet use, he said that function would be useful for posting unpleasant updates on social networking sites. Furthermore, a Satis' voice functions could be reprogramed to make accusatory, pained exclamations at the user.

CNET blogger Amanda Kooser thought of similar mischievous tricks one could pull if they had control of a Satis, although hers weren't quite as crass. She noted that a user could use remote control of their toilet to surprise unsuspecting users with the bidet, or make them think the bathroom was haunted by moving the seat and flushing from a distance.

Meanwhile, Popular Science writer Dan Nosowitz offered a sunnier perspective on the Satis - which links to Android phones via Bluetooth. He wrote that, someday, he expects virtually every component of daily life to be controlled via mobile devices. He was particularly impressed by how the Satis raises its seat and flushes with a tap on a smartphone's touchscreen and includes a stereo so you can listen to your favorite hit song while you do your business.

However, some people might find the Satis's current price tag a bit out of their range. Rocket News 24 reports that this "Cadillac of toilets" goes for 380,000 yen - or, the equivalent of more than $4,500.



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