In this era of pocket computers and 3D printing, one of the most eternally important gadgets can go overlooked: the toilet. Or so it seems. You might still sit on a stupid piece of porcelain, but a very special group of designers is working hard to improve your pooping experience with a new generation of pots.
These toilets from the future are bringing an end to annoying tasks necessitated by old-fashioned toilets — things like manually raising the seat and wiping your butt with paper. And, while some of the designs are real and some are still in the concept stage, they're all amazing.
Not every toilet has to be tricked out with automatic seats and Wi-Fi capabilities. The Wellbeing Toilet is simply designed better. Not only does it look nice with it's black-on-white motif, it also feels nice — since it's ergonomically correct to help you avoid getting haemorrhoids and even colon cancer. Now go ahead and poop your way right into good health.
The Numi is like the Ferrari of toilets. With smooth, straight lines and lots of power under the hood, this $US6400 piece of hardware is designed to perform in the most luxurious of bathrooms. And it does: This bad boy is controlled by a touch screen and includes such features as a foot warmer and a motion sensor that will raise and lower the hinged lid for you. A couple of years ago Valleywag's Sam Biddle sat on one; it changed Sam's life.
If the Kohler Numi is the Ferrari of toilets, the Inax Regio is the Tesla. This future-forward machine doesn't just feature the latest technology for toilets. It features the latest technology for computers too. That includes a sound system with an SD card reader for your music, top of the line speakers and even a light to illuminate the inside of the toilet bowl at night. All that and it's energy efficient.
TOTO Giovanni Washlet
With a name like that, you'd better believe this bad boy has style. It has seductive curves that come in handy for its powerful "tornado flush" as well as a "triple-jet rimless flushing system" and a "hygienic glazing" to help keep the porcelain clean. It even emits a pleasant odour to deodorise the room. Because you can't be pretty and stinky, now, can you, Giovannoni?
TOTO Intelligence Toilet II
TOTO gets two mentions in this Toilets from the Future roundup for a reason. The company is simply out-innovating the competition. Case in point: Way back in 2008, it was already selling a Wi-Fi-enabled toilet that could weigh you, take your BMI and blood sugar levels, and even analyse your urine! All this data could then be fed into a Wii Fit chart for… Well… Whatever you want to do with your pee data.
Home Core Integrated Toilet
Ever wish your toilet could just do it all — kind of like an all-in-one bathroom device? Well, the Home Core Integrated Toilet concept can. It's a wash basin, a side table and a toilet all in one. So you can sit and do your business while drinking a coffee. And you won't even have to get up to wash your hands.
Ultimate Clean Toilet
Speaking of all-in-one, the Ultimate Clean Toilet does the duties of two toilets with a urinal on one side and a fold-down toilet on the other. Aside from being versatile and space-efficient, the toilet also cleans itself using a combination of steam and an ultraviolet light bath.
Nelson Ayala's Motorcycle Toilet
It might look like a swan, but this toilet actually has more in common with a motorcycle. You straddle the toilet facing towards the swan's wings, brace your arms on the back and hover your butt over the bowl. That way, you don't get skin-to-seat contact in public restrooms. You also look ridiculous and probably get really tired, really fast.
Brondell Swash 1000
This device is more of an honourable mention, because it's not an actual toilet but rather just a really high-tech seat with a built-in bidet. It's heated so your butt doesn't get cold and comes with a deodoriser so your house guests don't get offended. The oscillating bidet also promises you'll never have to use toilet paper again. After all, toilet paper's so 20th century.