I’m not normally an early adopter, but I confess to a little bit of toilet envy when it comes to green toilets.
Now, I’ve spent more than enough time living in apartments with toilets that are literally, and unintentionally green; I’d really love to live with one that was green in metaphor only — like a composting toilet, say. Who can’t get behind the knowledge that every time you visit the lav, you’re helping grow some rhododendrons?
Even just a low-flow variety or a rig with a bidet would be an improvement. It may not be polite to say, but we spend an awful lot of our lives in that private, special place — some of us far more than others. Is it wrong to think I’d like a little variety in my quiet time?
This rig, however, may be going overboard. I’m mildly appalled at this article on Mother Nature Network about INAX’s Regio, which MNN’s Matt Hickman describes as:
…a tricked-out “integrated” toilet from Japan (but of course) that boasts water- and tree-saving features similar to a model from a brand like Kohler. But just you wait … there’s also a few extras: a built-in air purifier, a warm air dryer, “Hyper Clean” surface technology, a heated seat, a sensor-controlled lid that opens and closes automatically, a built-in speaker that plays “soothing music” (choose from classical or “relaxation sounds”), and LED lights placed inside the toilet bowl itself. Holy crap.
I’m still stuck on the mood music that starts up the moment the robo-lid senses your presence and automatically rises. I’m sorry but am I the only one that thinks that’s creepy, not convenient?
And apparently, you can eschew the tranquil, yoga studio-esque sounds programmed into Regio and opt for your own playlist using an SD card. Just what I’ve always wanted: a soundtrack for relieving myself. And just so you know, mine would most definitely kick off with the “Chariots of Fire” theme.
Mine would be “Raw Power” by The Stooges. If I was flush enough (doh!) to afford the black variety, maybe I’d include “Stigmata Martyr” by Bauhaus. The black toilet costs $7,350 (compared to $5,900 for the white version). But…come on. You’re breaking the bank already for your toilet. You’re going to nickel-and-dime it rather than just kicking out the jams and going All Goth?
Speaking of which, since an iPod Touch costs a few hundred bucks plus maybe fifty to a hundred or so for the speakers, and motion sensors are cheap — as is black paint — it seems like some of you steampunk people out there could screw in your monacles and come up with plans for a a DIY goth toilet just as “integrated” for under a grand, don’t you think? Plus, then you’d be able to hotglue clocks all over it.
Although now that I consider it, I’m not so sure I want to hear “California Dreamin'” every time the cat sneaks a drink.
Anyway, MNN.com also quotes the truly inspirational copy from the manufacturer:
Hygienic and eco-functional advantages round off the long, impressive list of REGIO’s attributes. A refreshing personal cleanse comes by way of two spray nozzles with sensitive temperature and water pressure controls to ensure a thorough feminine and posterior wash. Environmental responsibility is demonstrated via INAX’s own water-conserving Dual Silent Stream Flush System, which efficiently uses the least amount of water (1.1 GPF, 1.6 GPF) possible to fully clean the bowl and ensure a complete flush every time.
Their taglines are “Smart Luxury…New Comfort for the Modern Age,” and their branding copy has to be read to be believed:
True luxury is not just about appearances, but what INAX likes to call “smart luxury,” born from genuine comfort. In that vein, we proudly present the Regio, our latest and most superb achievement. The Regio’s elegant design incorporates every technology possible today, including the highest levels of water conservation and automated convenience. It is reassuringly quiet, profoundly comfortable and offers a greater level of cleanliness than ever achieved before.
Now that is conspicuous consumption.
The story came to MNN through MSNBC.com, whose legal team came across the toilet when deciding how to proceed with Keith Olbermann. Doh!!