Introducing the touchless toilet - Flush with a wave of your hand

Kohler Cimarron Touchless Toilet. (Kohler Co)

Kohler Cimarron Touchless Toilet. (Kohler Co)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 7:31 PM ET

The perfect restroom addition to anyone worried about germs, the latest Kohler toilet flushes with a simple wave of the hand.

Available as a complete toilet or as a do-it-yourself kit for enhancing your existing flush system, it does away with the light beam sensors that are becoming commonplace in public conveniences in favour of something rather more refined and high-tech: electromagnetic sensing.

Conventional automated conveniences flush when a light beam is broken. That's great in theory, but in practice it means that a slight movement while seated is enough to trigger the flush. With Kohler's system, holding a hand directly above the sensor interrupts a projected electromagnetic field instead, and that interference is what activates the flush. The whole thing is powered by 4 AA-sized batteries that should last for up to a year.

Kohler says that it was motivated to develop the technology in response to its customers' growing concerns about hygiene in the home, and particularly in the bathroom.

"Homeowners are of course worried about the hygiene and health of their family members, and the toilet trip lever is an obvious area of hygienic concern," said Brian Hedlund, marketing manager of Kohler toilets and bidets. "In a recent study of 800 U.S. consumers, we found that 51 percent of people surveyed are paranoid about germs in the bathroom. When looking at that same sample group but focusing on moms with children, that number jumps up to 65 percent."

Kohler hasn't confirmed pricing for the toilet with the technology integrated, but the touchless flush kit for adapting an existing system will cost $99 when it goes on sale later this year. And, apart from changing the batteries when they run out of juice, the system requires no other maintenance.


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