While some technologies, such as smartphones and laptops, change by the month, others evolve at a far more glacial pace. Bathroom tech isn't an area where one expects great strides from year to year, but I couldn't ignore an invite to test Kohler's new Numi toilet. It's not every day I get asked to test-drive a commode.
The Numi is U.S. bathroom furnishing manufacturer Kohler's first big stride into a top-to-bottom high-tech toilet. While Kohler had previously introduced an attachable seat with several functions built in, the Numi is more of a complete toilet overhaul.
High-tech toilets are very popular overseas, particularly in Japan; in fact, I first used a high-tech toilet while on my honeymoon in Tokyo. Toilets with seat warmers and automatically adjusting bidets are strangely luxurious, but many times the toilets that employ them end up looking like astronaut equipment.
Comparatively, the Numi is shockingly minimal. At first glance it looks more like a piece of high-end kitchen equipment. Compact, squared-off, and glowing, it has barely any visible buttons at all on its smooth facade. Instead, the toilet's functions are controlled with a full-color touch-screen device that magnetically docks with a wall-mounted panel. … Read more