Japanese toilet manufacturer Inax has just released their 2007 Satis Asteo Washlet toilet, which is a good example of how toilet design seems to be taken more seriously in Japan than elsewhere.
A) The toilet has an SD card, pre-loaded with Bach, Chopin and Mendelsohn. Once you show up to take care of business, a sensor activates the tunes, either to relax you or to prevent houseguests in your thin-walled Japanese apartment from hearing anything other than Bach, Chopin or Mendelsohn.
B) The smoothly-designed exterior of the basin is easy to clean, absent of the dust- and grime-collecting nooks and crannies present in many Western toilets.
C) Another sensor figures out whether you're going to need the seat up or down (crikey, would love to know how this one works) and motorizes it into the appropriate position. After you leave, it automatically places the seat in the down position if it was up, preventing countless marital spats.
D) A nightlight in the bowl helps guide you during those 2am emergencies, though this feature may not be so desirable if you've had too much tequila and are making that other use of the toilet.
The (somewhat poorly Google-translated) webpage is here.
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