Well hello there, wretched excess.

Fancy, water-saving commodes with hygienic spray nozzles are nothing new these days (thank you, Japan). In fact, spending a bit more and investing in a dual-flush or low-flow toilet with a bidet feature built-in or added on is a pretty financially and environmentally sound decision.

And then there is INAX’s Regio, a tricked-out “integrated” toilet from Japan (but of course) that boasts water- and tree-saving features similar to a model from a brand like Kohler. But just you wait ... there’s also a few extras: a built-in air purifier, a warm air dryer, “Hyper Clean” surface technology, a heated seat, a sensor-controlled lid that opens and closes automatically, a built-in speaker that plays “soothing music” (choose from classical or “relaxation sounds”), and LED lights placed inside the toilet bowl itself. Holy crap.

I’m still stuck on the mood music that starts up the moment the robo-lid senses your presence and automatically rises. I'm sorry but am I the only one that thinks that's creepy, not convenient?

And apparently, you can eschew the tranquil, yoga studio-esque sounds programmed into Regio and opt for your own playlist using an SD card. Just what I’ve always wanted: a soundtrack for relieving myself. And just so you know, mine would most definitely kick off with the “Chariots of Fire” theme.

And on the less extravagant, more conservation-minded front:

Hygienic and eco-functional advantages round off the long, impressive list of REGIO’s attributes. A refreshing personal cleanse comes by way of two spray nozzles with sensitive temperature and water pressure controls to ensure a thorough feminine and posterior wash. Environmental responsibility is demonstrated via INAX’s own water-conserving Dual Silent Stream Flush System, which efficiently uses the least amount of water (1.1 GPF, 1.6 GPF) possible to fully clean the bowl and ensure a complete flush every time.
The cost for discharging into such a luxurious fixture? The boring old white Regio will set you back $5,900 while the stately black throne costs $7,350.

Head on over to INAX USA to learn more about Regio and to see one of my favorite photos of 2011 so far: a woman, clad in black cocktail dress and heels, holds a flute of champagne as she stands before her very own luxury toilet/bidet. If that's not aspirational I don't know what it is.

Via [MSNBC Technolog]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Ladies and gents, the $7,000 toilet
Although they can be costly, investing in a water-conserving toilet with a bidet feature is a smart investment. And then there's Regio, a fully automatic, music