In today’s digital world you’ll find many places making huge pushes to go paperless, but one area still remains relatively untouched in the US (or not untouched enough, perhaps): the toilet experience. Whether it’s a smart toilet seat or an entirely smart contraption all together, as Priceonomics points out, it’s not hard to find the paperless push in bathrooms overseas; electronic toilets with all kinds of anti-wipe (and even audio) gizmos are everywhere in Japan. Essentially every toilet is also a bidet over there. Why the stark difference?
“For Americans here in the US, the biggest issues are personal experience with these products and a major reluctance to discuss bathroom issues or change ingrained habits,” a Toto spokesperson writes in the Priceonomics article. “You wouldn’t imagine how many people giggle nervously or say “gross” when we try to educate them about the advantages of the bidet seat, yet these are the same people that are still using paper – a much inferior way to cleanse oneself.”
Well, one California company is hoping to change that with a new model of smart toilet seat they pushed through a Kickstarter campaign that just saw successful completion today; $160K raised from 320 backers. The product is the Brondell Swash 1400–“Quality Comfort for your Caboose”. The device’s key selling point is certainly the no-wipe wrap-up; like a standard bidets, it squirts water to take care of the clean-up procedure. This smart toilet seat doesn’t stop there though.
(Yes, the opening of their campaign video below is amazing)
Compatible with just about any toilet on the market, the Swash 1400 seat also offers a ceramic core water heating system (with “on-demand” heating to provide virtually unlimited warm water), fully customizable wash settings (water temperature, water pressure and spray width, with two programmable profile settings), heated seat (with three temperature settings), a warm air dryer, and a replaceable deodorizer–an active carbon deodorizer that lasts about six months at a time and neutralizes smells.
It also has a “gentle-closing” lid and a nightlight.
Behind that impressive heap of features is also some pretty impressive tech. For instance, the nozzle sterilization system uses silver oxide nanoparticles to create a sterilizing wash that is completely maintenance and chemical free; the instant water heater also cuts energy consumption by 60% as opposed to traditional reservoir heaters; rather than just masking the odor, it kills the odor by removing the air from the toilet bowl and passing it through the charcoal deodorizing filter, then expelling the cleaned air; there is also a mesh pre-filter to purify water and extend the life of the bidet.
The swash is designed to be installed on existing toilets without a plumber or handyman required. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, the Bondell Swash 1400 only supports North American outlets and cannot be used with a converter.
For those who got in early and snagged the seat for $474 (over $175 off the suggested retail price), the estimated shipping date is March 2017. And even though the campaign is technically over, you can still buy into some of the perks. So don’t get caught with your pants down…
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net