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A $5,000, high-tech toilet
Japanese-manufactured commode includes remote control, sensors so seat can be raised or lowered.
June 8, 2004: 9:54 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A Japanese toilet maker is introducing a high-tech $5,000 toilet to the U.S. market, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Toto has introduced its deluxe Neorest toilet. Features include seats that can be set to rise automatically via sensors on the side, so users don't have to touch the toilet. The toilet also has a wireless remote to raise or lower the seat. It has deodorizer, a warm-air dryer and water temperature, pressure and massaging options.

The toilet is just one of a number of new high-tech products profiled in the Journal. Other items include Concert Companion, a PDA loaded with program notes of classical music concerts, linked to wireless networks in the concert hall, to allow concert-goers to get explanatory text and video images of the numbers being performed on stage. It is to be available this fall.

Another product planned is Blu-ray Discs, high-definition DVDs that can hold 54 gigabytes of material rather than the 10 gigabytes of a current DVD. It is being developed by a multicompany consortium led by Sony and is due out by the end of 2005.

The newspaper also profiled Jawbone, a wireless phone that uses vibrations in bones of the user's face to distinguish the user's voice from background noise. It is due out this fall, as well as a Radixs MXI, a mobile operating device that can run Windows programs housed on remote servers rather than the stripped-down operating system programs of current PDAs and smart phones. It will also allow multitasking of applications. It is to be available by August.

Also planned is Personal Broadcaster, a product to allow users to remotely control and view programing on any digital video recorder, such as TiVo, over the Internet. The product is expected by year's end.  Top of page

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