Hotel Suppliers Reporter Interviews Washbot Director, Andy Smith, to learn more about the sustainable smart toilets taking the hospitality industry by storm.
Q – Can you tell us about the concept and mission behind Washbot’s sustainable smart toilets, and how they differ from traditional toilet solutions?
A traditional toilet is just that, a toilet. Bidets, whilst more popular on the continent, are also seen as part of a traditional toilet suite, and provide a very hygienic way of cleansing. The Washbot takes the idea of a bidet to the next level, incorporating a plethora of additional features, more of which we will hear about below!
One of the greatest advantages of the Washbot for hotel guestrooms is that it is a single unit, requiring a smaller physical footprint in a bathroom than a traditional toilet/bidet setup. Our mission is simple, to bring the joy of smart toilets to all, providing a quality product at a very competitive price.
Q – The term “Sustainable Smart Toilets” is often associated with Japanese toilets. Could you explain why these have gained popularity, and how they’re making their way into luxury hotels globally?
You are absolutely right – smart toilets or shower toilets, are often referred to as ‘Japanese Toilets’, as they are reportedly found in over 90% of homes in Japan. They are also ubiquitous in hotels and many other public areas. This compares with well under 1% of homes in the UK, so we still have a long way to go! We are now seeing more smart toilets installed in larger luxury hotels and anticipate that this trend will continue, particularly in smaller boutique hotels.
Q – How has technology been integrated into Washbot’s luxury hotel toilets, and what features can customers expect from your range of smart bidet toilets?
The spray nozzle provides a gentle water jet with adjustable temperature, water pressure, angle and even oscillating spray. The warm air drying also has several temperature settings. My personal favourite is the heated seat – I can’t bear the touch of a cold toilet seat now!
An often-under-rated function is the night light – switching the bathroom light on at night can disrupt our circadian rhythm, causing problems getting back to sleep. Our higher-end models also come with automatic opening and closing seats. All of these functions are operated by a simple and elegant wall-mounted remote control.
Q – Could you explain the sustainability aspects of your toilets, especially in terms of reducing toilet paper usage and water consumption during manufacturing?
Over 700 million trees are cut down every year for toilet paper. The toilet paper manufacturing process is also very energy and water-intensive. The addition of softeners, fragrances and in particular wet-wipes, pose big problems for water companies and sewage treatment. The Washbot drying function helps the user greatly reduce usage of toilet paper, and consequently what users flush down the loo!
Q – For hoteliers, what are the potential benefits of smart toilets in terms of reducing operational costs and enhancing guest experiences?
Reducing toilet paper consumption, will help hoteliers reduce consumable costs. From a guest perspective, smart toilets are still a novelty to many. Installing a Washbot can help differentiate guestrooms, bringing added value in terms of a new experience, and also provide a real talking point for guests!
Q – The idea of wellness is mentioned in connection with your products. How does the use of water for gentle cleansing contribute to guest well-being, hygiene, and satisfaction in luxury hotel settings?
Cleaning with water is much more hygienic and thorough than with paper. The analogy I tend to use is if my daughter had been playing outside and came into the house with dog poo on her hand, I certainly wouldn’t just use dry kitchen roll to clean it off!
Q – How do you see technology playing a role in the bathroom experience, and what innovations can we expect from Washbot in the future?
Much has been made of the smart home, but I believe bathrooms are very similar today to how they were fifty years ago. At Washbot we have lot’s of idea for the future so watch this space!
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