Just a few short years ago, Kohler brought us one step closer to the Jetsons-style house of the future by introducing the touchless faucet, and now they’re back with something even better — a touchless, gesture-activated toilet flusher.
Obviously, touch-free toilets have been around for ages at this point, but up until now, contactless flushing mechanisms were typically only installed in commercial and public restrooms. Kohler’s new kit, however, is a bit different. Not only is it designed specifically for the throne in your home, it also uses a different sensing technology to figure out when to flush.
Here’s how it works. Rather than using infrared sensors to detect when you sit down or stand up, Kohler Touchless Flush projects an electromagnetic field above your toilet tank. When you wave your hand through this field, it disrupts it ever so slightly. The flush actuator is designed to recognize this slight disruption and initiate a flush. Its basically the same way that this touchless switch works — the only difference is that it’s inside of your toilet instead of inside your wall.
The technology itself isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but the way that Kohler has applied it is brilliant. Instead of forcing you to buy and install a completely new toilet that’s outfitted with this technology, the company built it into a kit that you can install on your existing single-flush toilet in just a few minutes. The small battery-powered module attaches to the toilet tank with a metal bracket and is designed to fit inside the tank to remain out of sight. The chain from the toilet’s flush system attaches to a rotating arm on the Touchless module, which then acts as the flush actuator, and replaces the traditional lever handle of the toilet.
To avoid confusing your houseguests, the kit even comes with colored stickers that allow you to remove the old lever entirely and cover up the hole. And to make it perfectly clear how to flush the toilet once the handle is gone, Kohler provides a small flush emblem you can place on top of the tank to indicate where/how to motion to activate the flush mechanism.
The kit, which was announced late last week, is set to be released in the next few months, and will retail for just under $100. Find out more here.