Los Angeles Times (MCT)
Will Americans, who are notoriously bidet-shy, embrace a $4,200 smart toilet with integrated washing system?
Yoshiaki Fujimori, chief executive of Japan’s Lixil Corp., thinks so. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Fujimori said he thinks Americans will adopt higher-end products such as the AT200 Smart Toilet when they see it under a familiar brand like American Standard (which is owned by Lixil).
Fujimori likened the growing appeal of smart toilets to smartphones. “Industry presents iPhone — industry presents shower toilet,” he said. “We can create the same type of pattern.”
The AT200 Smart toilet from DVX by American Standard features hands-free flushing, an automated lid that opens and closes, a seat warmer and an adjustable two-nozzle water spray system for front and rear cleansing with integrated air dryer. There is also a night light and a massage feature.
A spokeswoman for American Standard said the DVX collection, which debuted May 14 as an alternative to more expensive smart toilets — Kohler’s Numi with Bluetooth is priced at more than $6,000 — began rolling out in selected designer showrooms in May.
It remains to be seen if Americans will purchase something they can find at their local hardware store for much less. American Standard CEO Jay Gould sounds optimistic. Gould told the Wall Street Journal that American Standard aimed to sell $50 million in bidet-equipped toilets annually within three years.
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