New mystery appliance is the antithesis of the green dream

What sort of new appliance is so hip, so cool, so stylish, so sophisticated, so much a work of art…that you’d put it in your glass penthouse living room, so that you could impress your hot model girlfriend? Don’t look just yet. I’ll give you a hint. It has an iPod dock, speakers, a light, motion sensor activation, motorized access, and a touch screen remote. It only costs $6400. Make your best guess now.

Here’s what it looks like after dark, after you and hot model chick have knocked back a bottle of Opus One and you let the gadget’s soft glow set the mood for what comes next.

What could such a home appliance be? Answer below.

Yes that’s right, the new NUMI super toilet from Kohler flushes green dreams and your cash!

We’ve been told time and again the importance of using a single sheet of toilet paper so as to not stress Gaia’s natural state, that we should put bricks in our toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used, and even that we should all be like eco saint Ed Begley Jr., who doesn’t use any water at all, but composts his, er, crap.

Some greenists say we should be “…radically abandoning the flush toilet – one of the world’s most destructive habits, absorbing 40% of water available for domestic consumption and contaminating everything in its way”.

So imagine the howling that will now ensue with the worlds largest indoor plumbing fixture company tossing all those ideas down the toilet, and reincarnating it as a must have hipster item that is marketed in a way like a Ferrari is marketed to a guy with only one thing on his mind. Of course if that doesn’t work out, you can always compost your girlfriend.

Truly, it is the Poop de Grace of toilets.

Here’s the remote:

Numi Remote Interface Home Screen

Here’s the feature list:

  • Motion Activated Lid and Seat – Front sensors react to your movement when

    you enter the room for hands-free opening and closing of the cover. Motion at the floor-level engages sensors to raise and lower seat.

  • Advanced Bidet Functionality – Self-cleaning wand features multiple options for

    water spray pattern. Adjust wand position, water pressure and temperature to your preferences

  • Integrated Air Dryer – Located in the wand for more efficient drying.
  • Deodorizer – Air is pulled through a powerful deodorizing charcoal filter.
  • Heated Seat – Warms the seat to your comfort level.
  • Feet Warming – Warm air from floor-level vents, heats the floor surface and warms your feet.
  • Illuminated Panels – Ambient lighting illuminates your space with a soft, inviting glow.
  • Music –  Built-in speakers allow you to play a selection from the Numi toilet’s pre-programmed audio, FM radio or to connect your MP3 player through the audio input jack in the remote docking station.
  • Touch Screen Remote Fine tune every option to your personal preference. Magnetic Docking Station Charges and stores the remote.
  • User Presets – Easily customize and recall your saved preferences.
  • Numi Flush Technology – A sophisticated, automatic flush system delivers unprecedented water savings and power.
  • Auxiliary Controls – Allows you to control basic functionality without use of the remote.

What, no self cleaning bowl? Personally if I was given one, I’d program the “Numi toilet’s pre-programmed audio” to play a “A Time for Tony” so I could “Think”.

Now the real question is: how many will Al Gore, Sheryl Crowe, and Leonardo DiCaprio buy? I can see this as the new green cred question asked on the red carpet – “is it true that you own a Numi?”


newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Robert of Ottawa

There is a restaurant in Darwin, Australia, where the gents wahsroom is separated from the restautant by a one-way mirror. It’s very disconcerting watching the customers while peeing. Imagine using that toilet in that glass room.


Gosh, that’s exactly like the loos in Azimov’s Robots of Dawn, on Aurora. Maybe the designer is a Sci-Fi fan.

I was sure it would be an iToilet.
REPLY: Well no, it doesn’t look anything at all like it. – Anthony

I don’t know what weirdness is going to happen next.
Some people have more money than sense.

Dave G

OMG, you can wave at your neighbors while reading LOL

Daniel H

The public toilets at the 7-11’s here in Tokyo have many of the same features and they’re free to use. They’re probably a lot more durable too. Some of them even play a special flushing sound when you sit so that if you’re shy you don’t have to worry about anyone hearing you fart.


Solar powered? Hmmmm. Probably not. Maybe in the next model. 😉 It should also have Facebook/Twitter hook up so you can share your squats with other ecofreaks.


It’s an iPOOP….


Last time i checked my toilet used NO electricity.

Joe Lalonde

The flushing of $6400.
Did the army not pay astronomical amounts for toilet seats?

This is obviously not for real.
REPLY: That was the first thing I thought of, that maybe this was an April fools joke done by the company, but sadly, no. It is quite real – Anthony

Grumpy Old Man

It’s not nearly as green as an old telephone diretory and a spade. Why am I reminded of NASA spending $millions developing a pen which would work in freefall while the Russians used a lead pencil on a bit of string?


Robert of Ottawa says: April 23, 2011 at 5:35 am
Which restaurant in Darwin?

Hector Pascal

Jeeze, you lot are soooo last century. Our dunnies (in my home) have auto lid lift and a button for seat lift. Heated seats, of course. A choice of buttons to wash the bum or the muff. Bog roll is reduced to a drying, rather than a wiping function. Stand up, the auto-flush operation happens and the lids close.
Whenever I travel from Japan, the thing I miss most is being able to wash my arse after I’ve had a s[..]t.
[had a seat? Robt]

tom in indy

I guessed a $6400 styrofoam cooler before I read the article.
That’s greenthink. For every $1 spent on the greenification of the universe, the universe benefits to the tune of $.01.
That means that for every 1 job created by redirecting wealth to the green sector, 5 people in other sectors lose their job (get flushed). Of course the green elite will only tell you about all the green jobs created, and hide the fact that greenification destroys more jobs than it creates.


So when the power goes out, where does one ‘go’?
Thinking this product is not a ‘family’ model.

Alec J

The suites of Ladera Resort on St Lucia are completely open to the leeward side of the building. One could sit on the “throne” with a fantastic view of the Pitons on either side, with no-one able to view your activities (unless they were climbing the Pitons) .


I recognize that house! That was the home of Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) in Galaxy Quest!
oh, and Sheryl Crow obviously never had a bowl of Texas Chili.


I have my own recycling system; it’s called a septic tank and I can use all the water I want…goes right back into the ground water supply.


Thomas Crapper is turning over in his grave.


Why is it in the middle of an all-glass walled livingroom???

Hector Pascal

Idd. When the power went out after our recent earthquake (you may have read about it) I collected snowmelt, and we flushed the dunnie with that. Coming to you from Yamagata, Tohoku, Japan.


I guess now we know where some of the Fed’s bailout money is going…
And just looking at the photo, this toilet doesn’t appear to be hooked up to any plumbing; just a pipe through the floor. The penthouse is probably perched over an unemployment office. 😉


Robert of Ottawa, there is a toilet with one way mirror in the Palmwoods Hotel, Sunshine Coast Qld. You pee while watching people eat in the bistro and hope they can not see you.
The Japanese have been mentioning the bidet idea for a while. Which company is it- Sony maybe, they are into movies and might get some of the naive Hollywood AGW believer filmstars to buy one?

Atomic Hairdryer

Never mind family model, that home looks like it was designed for future Darwin Awards winners. Pool next to polished decking next to long drop and no safety rails. The loo placement does allow the time honoured tradition of allowing the wealthy urban greens to bare their posteriors at the peasents beneath them. The images are a little creepy though. Is the woman thinking “I really need the loo, but he’s just sitting there, watching”?
The data sheet is lacking some green credentials. It says “Dedicated circuit required, protected with Class A Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) or Residual Current Device (RCD)” which is good advice to avoid it becoming an electric throne. It doesn’t seem to mention power consumption but I’m sure the owners micro wind turbine or solar panels will be fine.


With all that sh–going on I’d forget what I was going in there for – confused and would probably do it in my trou! sheesh!

John S

The Japanese market will snap them up! They’ve had these types of electronic toilets for decades.
I still want to know they used the three seashells from the movie Demolition Man.

The first thing that struck me was: Oh no, what a lot of un-necessary electricity that toilet must be using!!!
But then it dawned on me: – Oh yes of course, it all wind powered.

“Heated Seat – Warms the seat to your comfort level.”
Thank you, Kohler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then I’ll need a swing-out computer table.


I used to work in a warehouse with a 350+lb guy from Kentucky who could destroy the sturdiest of toilets after lunch. I’d love to send him in to that toilet’s factory and watch their R&D engineers cry….

Keith G.

Ackos says:
April 23, 2011 at 5:49 am
Last time i checked my toilet used NO electricity.
Yes, and these use a lot of electricity! They are a work of art, they have them at Narita and Haneda Airports and the finer hotels. Heated seats, automatic dryers, and this bidet wand thing. You can adjust the temperature of the bidet, as well as the force. From a gentle sprinkle to fire-hose. It really helps you figure out your kanji via negative reinforcement!! If you make a mistake you may end up with an ice water enema instead of a warm spray. It’s much more direct than the Berlitz Method, and the feedback loop a lot shorter.
I’ll miss those babies when we get back stateside! That and the massage chairs that cost 200 yen for 10 minutes. And the drink machines that have hot and cold drinks (including beer). And sushi-go-round…..

P. Solar

Luboš Motl says:
April 23, 2011 at 5:42 am
“I was sure it would be an iToilet.”
REPLY: Well no, it doesn’t look anything at all like it. – Anthony
Yeah, you seem to be confusing it with the original iToilet designed by Steve “Big” Jobs. 😉

Norris Nongle
amicus curiae

REPLY: Well no, it doesn’t look anything at all like it. – Anthony
I will never be able to use my mac without remembering this now…:-)


Well – I’d certainly have one of those in pride of place in my glass-walled penthouse apartment..!
Beats a wall-mounted 60-inch HD 3D tv with surround sound – let’s face it, your guests would get surround sound, particularly after a curry….

amicus curiae

jones says:
April 23, 2011 at 5:48 am
It’s an iPOOP….
the winner:-)

North of 43 and south of 44

Joe Lalonde says:
April 23, 2011 at 5:49 am
The flushing of $6400.
Did the army not pay astronomical amounts for toilet seats?
That was to keep the cost for the secret underground labs at Area 51 hidden from the congress critters according to one story.


And when the power goes out, or your windmill/solar system blips and Power to the Potty drops, you’ll have to call the Geek Squad to come and re-program it for you.
Me? I like the crapper so simple a caveman can use…or a cat.


It’s worse than we thought!


Nice legs and shoes, is she part of the deal?


this would have been good for April Fools. Oh god, it’s replaying. They are trying to make this toilet SEXY, but what I’m getting is PERVY. All it needs is a disco beat.
We have experienced a lot of different toilets. We visited a friend up on the Olympic Peninsula, in a sensitive area where neither sewers nor septics are allowed. They use a few different kinds of toilets, all of which require a separate building because of the odor. My friend always liked to come to visit us because she did not have to go outside to go to the toilet. The poshest homes up there have a posh outhouse to match. Her quaint little cabin had a quaint little outhouse, with a big window looking out on the immense forest. In the daytime it was picturesque, but at night it took some convincing.
She had a regular old outhouse, which is discouraged, and is a real pain in the rear to move, but she lived so far out there nobody was bothering her about it. Her cousin, an outrageous old hippy, got up every morning and pooped in a paper bag, which he piled in a pit beside his house and burned once a week. Some of her neighbors used their own version of a proper composting toilet (toilet has to sit on a big box, etc), but the ones who could afford the propane used the incinerating toilet, aka, “inshiterator.” Those are pretty amazing. They burn poop right then and there, – WHOOSH! – and urine you just let go(waste of propane). Stinks like the dickens right that minute, but then it’s over.
Of course, I love my regular Tom Crapper and the attached septic tank. My water stays on my property, instead of being flushed out to the river. And I’ve never read anything about modern sewer treatment plants that has anything on my tank and field.


Well worth the money if it gets you women like that.

Mike McMillan

Joe Lalonde says: April 23, 2011 at 5:49 am
. . . Did the army not pay astronomical amounts for toilet seats?

No, that was the Air Force, $800 to fit an aircraft toilet, but it was a very high quality seat, fail-safe, crash tested, low flame spread, etc., and most of the cost was in providing certification that the manufacturer was an equal opportunity employer.
Curiousgeorge says: April 23, 2011 at 5:44 am
Solar powered? Hmmmm.

I think wind powered would be more appropriate.


Can you imagine your typical 2-3 year olds, potty training and this unit?
No matter what the technology they come up with still won’t stop that remote from being flushed eventually.


For extremely social toilets and shifts in taboo perceptions you really have to watch this 4-minute segment from a Luis Buñuel movie in the 1970s (The Phantom of Liberty, 1974)

When the Sun throws its next hissy-fit that wipes out high voltage distribution thoughout half the world, all this technological excess will be flushed down the drain (but not by this toilet which will have been rendered inoperable).

Quis custoddiet ipos custodes

So I can spend $6400 to deal with the natural byproducts of human digestion (waste/pollutants), or I could pay for tertiary waste water treatment- which runs $223.44 bimonthly for 18ccf via the Placer county SMD No.3 facility. Oh, wait my wife would make me buy more then just one unit…
Instead, I think I’ll spend some funds to R&R my formerly 95% efficient propane furnace. My furnace died 10 years after it was installed. The mean (actual- in my case) time to failure of super green furnaces have a system wise mean time to failure of about half the time of 80 to 85% energy efficiency furnaces- per the two HVAC companies I have had come out to diagnose my furnaces problems.
Oh well, I guess I will be assisting in green job growth. Oh wait, I can’t print money like the feds. My choices are heat in the winter or a bit better mpg option for my transportation needs. It looks like my trusty older diesel sedan will get another couple years of use.


Much like the hot model girlfriend, it looks rather expensive to keep.

Old Goat

It’s certainly not bog standard…

Keith Battye

It’s not cheap having sh*t to show off to your friends.