Why are we wiping like it’s 1889?

1889 was the year toilet paper rolls were introduced to America, quickly replacing the golden standard in wiping: the hefty Sears Catalog. With its readily available pages, the catalog came free in the mail and even had a handy hole in the corner to make it hang easily on a nail in the outhouse. Although TP was a much needed upgrade, it marked the end of “wiping” innovation for another 100 years.

It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that electronic bidets emerged in Japan and quickly became as essential as running water in the home. It only took one generation for the Japanese people to upgrade from squat toilets to the most indulging bathroom experience ever created. Today they’re literally everywhere: a 2018 survey commissioned by the Japanese Cabinet Office recorded an average of 123 devices per 100 households.

Meanwhile in America, we’re still wiping like it’s 1889. Yes it’s softer, and comes in many different colors - and now thanks to wet wipes you can more easily clog your toilet - but it’s 2019 and there’s still no sign of a serious technology upgrade for the American bathroom.

"It only took one generation for the Japanese people to upgrade from squat toilets to the most indulging bathroom experience ever created."

Electronic bidets are a smarter, more enjoyable and much more efficient way to achieve one of the most basic needs of our human bodies. And yet we’re stuck in the industrial age, using our hands to wipe what is widely considered to be the filthiest thing on the planet. How have we not rebelled against this already?!

We could blame our parents for teaching us as toddlers that joking about #1 and #2 with our friends wasn’t an appropriate thing to do, thus not allowing us to express our needs for better personal hygiene solutions later in life. But if the Japanese people were able to embrace this life-changing bathroom upgrade, why haven’t we been able to?

Someone is to blame. Actually an entire industry is to blame. Lead by three major conglomerates, the kitchen and bathroom industry is responsible for keeping us in the dark ages. They’ve tried for many years to introduce those delightful machines to the American people, but have failed miserably. Why?

Their biggest mistake was to assume that the Japanese-style bidet wouldn’t require some form of adaptation for the US market. For starters, Japanese toilet seats look very different from ours - something that Americans might expect to see in a hospital or an old folks home. And then there’s the size. Most Japanese electric bidets have reduced the seat size to accommodate the complex built-in water heating system, making it difficult for some of us westerners to sit comfortably on them. And finally, most remain puzzled at the sight of Japanese style remote control buttons illustrating blue and pink stick-figures squatting over water jets.

If we wanted our society to appreciate this transformative experience, a more culturally relevant product should have been created. Perhaps more importantly, the industry should have promoted the benefits of warm, clean water versus the wasteful grandchild of the Sears Magazine. A new conversation around personal hygiene would have taken place and the wiping era could have ended.

Did Toto, Kohler and American Standard really think they could start this conversation in the aisles of Lowe’s and Home Depot just by putting those funny looking things on their shelves? Without surprise, it didn’t happen.

Fortunately for us, things are about to change.

A cleaner, smarter and healthier solution is about to transform your personal hygiene routine; only this time you won’t hear about it at Home Depot.

Imagine - going to the bathroom like you normally would, but not having to touch anything. The seat lid opens itself and while sitting on a warm, comfortable seat you’re able to do your business – free of any unwanted smells and sounds. When you’re done, with just a touch on your smart watch, your smart toilet is ready to clean you perfectly, with warm water set at your preferred temperature, leaving you as fresh as the moment you walked out of the shower that morning.

Now imagine that as you walk away from your bathroom you’re being notified that you might need to drink a bit more water today, or that you’re overdosing on your vitamins supplements, or that you better go see your doctor for antibiotics because a UTI is about to hit you. A built-in doctor able to tell you how you’re doing on the inside.

This is the toilet reimagined. This is our future.

And that’s why we created the Poddi Company. So we could help you achieve a cleaner, healthier and happier you - by making your toilet smarter.