Kohler’s fog-making bathtub and “intelligent toilet” are weirdly appealing

Chris Davies - Jan 8, 2021, 10:03am CST
Kohler’s fog-making bathtub and “intelligent toilet” are weirdly appealing

Kohler’s goal of giving the bathroom an Internet of Things makeover continues, with its CES 2021 range including everything from an “intelligent toilet” to a fog-emitting bathtub. It’s fair to say the company has been responsible for some of the more memorable products – and the oddest – of the Consumer Electronics Show in recent years, including an Alexa-powered shower and a mirror with Amazon’s assistant built-in.

For 2021, while there’s definitely some of that weirdness on show, there’s also a nod to the reality of the current health situation we find ourselves in. The Kohler Touchless Residential Bathroom Faucet, for example, borrows the strategy from public restroom basins by doing away with manual faucets.

Instead, wave your hands near the new Kohler faucet and it’ll automatically turn on without having to touch it. That means less of an opportunity for passing germs and bacteria with other people in the home. In addition to the enter touchless faucet assembly, Kohler will also offer a retrofit system, a puck which can be used to add touchless control to any of the company’s existing single control bathroom faucets.

If you’ve got an existing Kohler Konnect voice-activated, touchless kitchen faucet, meanwhile, that’s getting an upgrade now too. A “wash hand” command will not only turn on the water but have the faucet walk you through the recommended steps for a comprehensive hand washing.

That’s the more sensible end of the scale. Somewhere in the middle is the new Kohler Innate Intelligent Toilet, which promises to give the bathroom throne a feature update. As well as an auto opening/closing lid, there’s a heated seat and remote control. It’ll work as a bidet, too. Unlike many washlet-style toilets, Kohler says its is designed for DIY installation as well.

Finally, there’s the Kohler Stillness Bath. Taking inspiration, the company says, from Japanese deep-soaking tubs, it promises to deliver not only an opportunity to wash under your arms but light, fog, and aromas while you do it.

Water fills from the bottom of the bath rather than the top, overflowing into what Kohler describes as a “Hinoki wood mote” to make a soothing sound. There’s full spectrum lighting built in, and then a fog is generated for the surface of the bath. An “experience tower” supports essential oil diffusion.

Whether that’s something you really need in your bathroom is a matter best left to discussing with your plumber and your bank manager. No word at this stage on how much adding a foggy soak will set you back when Kohler’s 2021 range arrives in stores.


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