Here you are, a citizen of the world in the 21st century. Phones are getting smaller (and then bigger again) and less phone-like. Presidential candidates are getting less presidential. Cars drive themselves and you can talk to your house. You don’t even have to use a broom anymore, thanks to Roomba. What could possibly come next?
Well, you know how you’ve never ever used a toilet and thought, “Man, I wish I was crapping into a computer”? Well, whether you wanted it or not, the future of expelling waste is here.
Apparently, we are running out of places to invest our technology. So, it’s no wonder a bunch of designers and toilet manufactures teamed up to equip commodes with unnecessary gadgets and esoteric features. Self-lowering seats, foot warmers, music players, composting, touch screens; engineers have overlooked few accoutrements. The phrase “nature calls” doesn’t seem to make much sense anymore after exploring these modern marvels of the bathroom.
Perhaps the One-Percenters were sick of pooping like the commoners. Maybe everyone gave up on curing cancer, and cereal stays as crispy in milk as it ever will. However they came to be, we now have future toilets. They aren’t all just gadgetry, though. There are some toilets out there doing the right thing. Who knows? They may all be the standard in the not so distant future.
In this article, we will take a look at mankind’s achievements in the advancement of the toilet. (Author’s note: that was a somewhat heartbreaking sentence to write).
15. Kohler Numi: $6,338.50
First on our list is the Numi by Kohler. A sleek name for a sleek toilet box thing. This gold standard of johnnies is equipped with a motion-activated seat, which automatically gets itself ready for reception as soon as you walk in the room. The built-in bidet cleans itself (and your rear end) with adjustable water temperature and spray patterns including pulsate, oscillate and wave… for those who like to keep their butt guessing. The bidet wand also includes an air dryer and a deodorizer. And for those winter sessions, a foot-warmer counters those cold tile floors. The whole thing is controlled by an illuminated touchpad control panel which changes color based on the day of the week for those of us who need our toilet to double as a calendar. If you get lonely easily, a bluetooth-enabled music player is there to keep you company. This particular model might be best suited for those of you who have never been camping… or outside.
14. The Neorest 750H: $10,200.00
Lucky for us all, the designer of this masterpiece made a part that covers up the side there and we don’t have to see how the sausage is made. One feature on this toilet that costs as much as a nice used car is a tornado/siphon jet flushing system. We aren’t really sure what that means, but it sounds like bad news for your waste. Like Kohler’s Numi, the 750H also has a built-in oscillating bidet system with a front mode, a rear and a soft mode for more sensitive tooshes. The unit is also coated with a CeFiONtect™ ceramic glaze which is the Lavatory equivalent to non-stick cookware. The ewater+® mists the bowl with electrolyzed water so you don’t need to use so many harsh chemicals for cleaning. An Actilight UV light cleaning system in the lid also helps out with sanitation somehow. And, just like most of our entries, it is controlled by a multifunctional remote control because why not.
13. The INAX Regio Integrated Toilet: $7,350
This toilet doesn’t pack all of the bells and whistles like the previous two models. It still manages to pack a similar price tag, though. The Regio boasts a unique Silent Stream flushing system that uses water and air together to create a powerful flush you can barely hear. It can also sense your presence using motion sensors and greets you by opening its lid all by itself and illuminating inside the bowl as well as your feet. And without even asking, the Regio plays relaxing music to help you feel “comfortable.” In order to get rid of embarrassing odors, it is equipped with Plasmacluster technology, which uses antibacterial ions to clean the air. And what fancy toilet would be complete without a bidet system? This particular one offers individual wands for the rear end as well as one for feminine washing. That’s nice of them.
12. iPotty: $39.98
Why not get the kids involved with our bathroom indulgences? This innovative throne makes potty training something to look forward to while preparing your youngster for adulthood. Why not get your toddler ready to hold up the bathroom lines by introducing him or her to endless entertainment while doing his or her business? As the price might suggest, the iPad is not included. But kudos for the ingenuity nonetheless. The adjustable stand is compatible with 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads and includes a clear touchscreen protector to prevent… smudges. The iPad mount even rotates to toggle between horizontal and vertical views. Should make for some adorable baby pictures.
11. Roca Innovation lab’s W+W: $2,499.54
Here is a high-tech potty with a heart of gold. And at a mere $2499.54, they’re practically giving them away. Designed by architect brothers Gabriele & Oscar Buratti, this sustainable toilet uses sleek aesthetics to save space and water. The water used during everyday activities, such as shaving and toothbrushing, is filtered through and ultimately used to supplement the tank when the toilet is flushed.
The Buratti brothers, along with Ivano Battiston, created the BURATTI + BATTISTON ARCHITECTS agency in 1991. They originally designed workspaces and apartments. Having keen eyes for efficiency, it didn’t take long for the team to direct their talents to other objects. It’s a nice thing they did, too. It feels good to have some toilet tech doing good things, doesn’t it?
10. Sun-Mar Excel Composting Toilet: $1845.00
Here’s another mutant toilet that uses its powers for good. If you don’t know how composting waste works, here’s the skinny of it. About 90% of waste that goes in is water. Composting toilets are equipped with a vent through which that water is evaporated. Then, using natural decomposition and the above-mentioned evaporation, the remaining waste and toilet paper leave you with compost. Sun-Mar also claims the whole process is odorless and provides safe compost. This particular poo pioneer also happens to be the first composting toilet to be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). These guys aren’t meant to take a beating, though. They are only recommended for vacation homes or households with three or less adults. So, you might want to pick up a couple of back-ups while you’re out.
9. Kohler Veil: $4,275.00
The Kohler Veil resembles a trash can that could easily become sentient and try to kill you. Don’t worry, though. It’s just a toilet that could become sentient and try to kill you. Like its Kohler colleague, the Numi (above), the Veil offers an automatic seat and lid that raises and lowers when you are near, along with an elongated bowl, making for an ergonomic design. Inside that automatic lid is a pleasant night light so you don’t have to wake yourself up in the middle of the night with harsh vanity lights. Like most of the toilets on our list, the Veil is equipped with an adjustable bidet wand which can oscillate, pulsate, change temperature, change water pressure, change spray shape and also clean itself using UV light and electrolyzed water. If you’re wondering what you are supposed to do with that wet posterior of yours, the Veil has a blow dryer in there, too; and yes, that temperature is adjustable as well. The machine also does a little for planet earth. The tankless design gets its own water supply for precise usage and can be adjusted between 0.8 gallons or 1.28 gallons per flush. Everything is controlled by a touchscreen LCD remote control.
8. Thetford Tecma X-Light Carbon Fiber Head: $13,769.99
If you are in the market for a $10,000 toilet, you probably have a sailboat. And, if you have a sailboat, you are probably in the market for a $10,000 toilet for your sailboat. And, if you are willing to spend $10,000 on a toilet for your sailboat, you would surely spend $14,000. So, boy, do we have the toilet for you. The Thetford Tecma X-Light Carbon Fiber Head is an electric fly-weight commode built for offshore racing sailboats where weight is a major concern. Waste is immediately macerated by the equipped turbine macerator. It then goes to a holding tank where it is stored until other arrangements can be made. Water consumption is adjustable and it has a lock-out function that prevents flushing if the holding tank is full. It pulls a mere 40 amps @ 12V DC and weighs in at an impressive 26 lbs.
7. Loowatt Waterless Toilet
What list of high-tech toilets would be complete without featuring where Superman poops. The Loowatt does a little more than conserve water. It actually makes energy. Not even using electricity to operate, the Loowatt seals waste in a biodegradable lining along with any organic waste and toilet paper. The system is designed to work in congress with an anaerobic digestion process wherein micro-organisms consume waste in an oxygen-free environment. The resulting products are biogas and dry waste. The biogas is used for cooking, heating water, powering generators and so on, and is completely clean-burning. When it is burned, the methane (65% compared to 80% in natural gas) is converted to water vapor and CO2. The remaining dry waste is sent to a composting factory where the circle of life is completed a second time. Unfortunately, these toilets are only available in Madagascar and on loan for certain festivals. So, you may have to relocate. Pricing is unavailable.
6. New Line Aqualet
The Aqualet by New Line boasts many of the same features as its peers. The major difference here is that it mounts right on an existing toilet. That’s right. It’s just a seat. But, don’t go thinking you will be making a ton of sacrifices here. The seat is made from a germ-resistant plastic and the bidet wand is equipped with five settings and variable spray. It also has a feminine cleansing setting as well as a “kids function,” whatever that means. The built-in air dryer also has five levels of temperature settings and a deodorizer. It probably goes without saying at this point, but to answer your question anyway, it has a remote control. And, arguably the greatest feature on most of these bidet systems, it cleans itself before and after each use while the lid closes automatically.
5. The KazubaLoo
Finally, a toilet for the people. The KazubaLoo is an autonomous, waterless, electricity-free public toilet system. And no, there is not just a hole in the ground behind that door. Here’s how it works. It is completely powered by the sun and wind. First, the solids are held in a perforated basket while liquids are allowed to fall through to a holding tank. Sunlight heats up a panel on the back of the holding tank. The heat inside the unit causes hot air to rise up the chimney, rotating an extractor at the top. This extractor ventilates the unit and intensifies airflow inside the small room. Air is then drawn into the toilet itself. This airflow prevents backflow of odors. As we learned from our composting friend above, human waste is about 90% water. So, heat and airflow also aid in evaporation, which does a lot of the heavy lifting here. The manufacturer also claims that the airflow promotes aerobic bacteria.
4. Geberit In-Wall Carrier System: $269.99 + Installation
This marvel of bathroom technology has more to do with aesthetics than anything else. The tank and accompanying frame are installed within the studs of your home, then covered over with drywall or plaster. Then you just mount the toilet, and off you go. The Geberit system does purport to have water conservation benefits, equipped with a dual flush function for light or heavier loads. The system is operated with a wall plate that is installed near the unit. There isn’t much in the way of fancy gadgetry here. But, at least if it breaks down, you only have to rip out your wall to get the plumber in there. It was probably time to redecorate that bathroom anyway. Why not upgrade to a $10,000 toilet while you’re in there?
3. Space Toilet: Lots Of Student Debt
How could we assemble a list of high-tech toilets and not include the one that astronauts do their business in? Well, don’t worry, here it is. The space toilet is also known as the zero gravity toilet since it can be used in weightless environments. The space toilet borrows from a couple of our previous greener entries. Not totally unlike the KazubaLoo, airflow plays a very, very important role here. The aforementioned airflow directs the solids and liquids where they are exposed to vacuum conditions to kill off the bacteria responsible for odors and pathogens. And like the Loowatt, waste gets compressed and bagged up until they land back on earth. Previous models used to shoot waste water into space. The air used in these toilets gets cycled back into the ship during a mission. So, needless to say, they have some pretty crucial filtration systems out there.
2. Thermochromic Toilet Seat: Not Yet Available
Do you remember Hypercolor clothing? In case you don’t, these were clothes that changed color when they heated up thanks to thermochromatic pigments in the fabric. It did not last very long as a fashion trend, and it probably will not even get as far as those shirts did. You may be wondering why this innovation even made it past a drawing board, or how it made it to the drawing board to begin with. Well, the idea behind Peter Crnokrak’s toilet seat was that someone coming into a bathroom could easily be able to tell how recently someone sat on the seat by whether or not it had turned yellow (um… as opposed to before when people used to have to feel the seat?) Thanks, Peter. A couple of questions, though: Why did you choose yellow? And, what are we supposed to do with this information? Should we just find another bathroom if someone else has already used this one?
1. Julien Bench Toilet: $11,475
This is sort of the opposite of high-tech, but it certainly is interesting. You know how just about everyone in the world looks at a toilet and thinks, “Gaaaah! I have $12,000 too much in my bank account! I wish this was a bench!”? Well, Troy Adams Design in Los Angeles will be more than happy to relieve you of those funds and put a bench where your toilet is. They will even hide a toilet in the bench so you don’t have to bother your neighbors every time you have spicy food and coffee. This way, when you have a dinner party in your bathroom, the chi flow you have carefully constructed with those feng shui classes won’t be marred by a disgusting toilet that just sits there on the wall. And after that, if you still have way too much money, Troy Adams Design has some ideas for how to store that wine collection.