If there's a part of the house where it never occurs to you that you need it totally networked, it might be the bathroom.
OK, maybe it'd be nice to have some kind of tablet function in the mirror, a scrolling newsfeed or something. But a networked toilet with all the digital bells and whistles? Sounds weird at first. Until you get a look at Kohler's $6000 Numi, on display at CES 2018.
Kohler has put together an entire smart bathroom, but the Kohler is particularly interesting because it's hard to figure out just why you'd need all its features, but let's be real—they sound pretty cool anyway. Here's Kohler's breakdown of possible "real life" uses:
*In the dark, as you walk up to Numi, the lid will open and treat you to a warm seat; when you walk away, it flushes and closes. Hassle-free for night time trips to the bathroom.
*Use app or the remote to program personalized presets for different users, and you can use voice to access the preset/profile (in case you misplace the remote). There is probably a difference between you, your spouse, and your children when it comes to washing; this lets you easily program and select personalization using voice and app.
*Ask Alexa to access your own playlist of songs (if you have Verdera and have Numi set up as an Alexa speaker).
The specs in general for the Numi are impressive. Here are just a few: warm-water cleansing, a stainless steel wand that sanitizes using UV light, a heated seat and warm-air dryer, ambient lighting (for an especially peaceful poop or something), and—most importantly—automatic deodorizer.
There's even a touch-screen remote control and a foot warmer.
Now sit there for a moment and imagine yourself having an issue and watching the face of your friendly neighborhood plumber as he scratches his head and stares at this beauty.
Jokes aside, the potential for such a sophisticated private throne is huge. Its connected nature points toward a future when our potties may be able to advise us when it's time to head to the doctor, since otherwise invisible physical ailments are sometimes detectable in our waste.
Still, in an age when the idea of a smart home in general also brings deeper fears of hacking, it's best to not think too much about the potential of some cyber attacker controlling your ability to flush your troubles away.