In 2011 Kohler premiered the Numi. With a retail price of 6,400 dollars, it was and is the world’s most high tech toilet, and Kohler describes it as marking “a new standard of excellence in the bathroom.”

To hold one’s own bathroom to such a standard is to make a slightly peculiar display of affluence and sophistication. But for those who have both the money and the discriminating tastes, bathroom fixtures and décor offer a surprising array of possibilities to add to the beauty, modernity and distinctiveness of your home.

Consumers can find these items on display at trade shows or consumer booths at state and county fairs. You may never even realize how much you want a high-end upgrade to your shower, bathtub or sink until you stumble across a working model of one and start to imagine how you would use it to add a touch of class and distinction to your daily life. After all, few things are more common than the daily rituals of washing grooming. Improvements in the bathroom would never be lost on its owner.


The range of technologically-enriched shower stalls one can find at home stores is dazzling in its own right. They make a traditional shower seem like a class coffin with a garden hose draped into it. Newer alternatives, of course, introduce improved, pulsating showerheads. But particularly high-end showers eliminate the conspicuous hanging showerhead and replace it with separate jets of water emerging from panels built into the walls and ceiling of the shower.

Some also dispense with the typical twist-of-a-knob means of turning water on and off, instead favoring a digital interface that allows users to have precise control over temperature and pressure. The same interface might control a radio or even a television built into the wall of the shower. In fact, given that some of them even provide seating, modern-design showers almost invite the user to spend time in them just as they would in a separate room.


But losing track of time might be something that happens more in a bathtub. Newer models of those provide entertainment as well, and in some it is perhaps even more interesting than the surround-sound theater of a high-end shower.

Vibracoustic bathtubs use amplified transducer speakers to play music right through the acrylic shell of the tub.  When it’s full of water and in use, this means not only hearing the music close at hand, but actually feeling the sound waves run through your body.


Closely related transducer technology and other electronics are being used to improve the all-around experience that one can have in the bathroom. One of the distinctive features of the Numi toilet is that it never has to be touched because the lid automatically raises and lowers for the user.

A person need not part with 6,400 dollars, though, to benefit from at least aspects of this highest of high-tech fixtures. Slightly less posh toilets similarly use motion sensors such as an ultrasonic transducer to raise and lower their lids as a person approaches.

In fact, as with all electronics, the prices on this bathroom-tech fixtures come down over time, so the twenty-first century transformation of our daily experiences of washing and going to the bathroom are bound to become accessible to a growing number of consumers.