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5 Future Home Technologies You'll Love


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Smart Toilets
New toilets are likely to incorporate many convenience features, making today's toilet look downright shabby in comparison.
New toilets are likely to incorporate many convenience features, making today's toilet look downright shabby in comparison.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you've been to Asia, namely Japan, you've likely been fascinated by their toilets. To those of us in North America, they're quite futuristic. These super bowls are loaded with buttons and gadgets whose function and operation are difficult to figure out. At least to the uninitiated. For starters, the toilets also function as bidets. Long common in Europe and other parts of the world, bidets spritz water at you for post-potty cleansing. In these newer toilets, a dryer also kicks in, wafting warm air up towards you, meaning there's no need for toilet paper [source: Mapes].

But oh, there's so much more to these wonders. Like heated seats, and lids that raise -- and lower -- automatically. Not surprisingly, the latter function is especially appealing to women; they've even been dubbed "marriage savers." Then there are the built-in deodorizers, which remove every trace of our, uh, prior activities. And, of course, they self-flush, a toilet feature already found in public restrooms in America. Some of these toilets even clean themselves once we've left, applying an antibacterial coating as the last step [source: Mapes].

But while smart toilets currently exist -- even if they haven't reached our shores yet -- even smarter ones are in development. Their purpose: to keep us healthy. Some toilets in Japan already perform urinalysis to see if users have diabetes; soon there will be toilets able to detect things like drug use and pregnancy from your urine, plus colon cancer from your stools. Heck, they'll even be able to give us diet and exercise advice [sources: Future Technology Portal, Mapes]. But will we heed it?


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