For evidence that there's always a market for labor-saving devices, look no farther than the
Custom Solution ComfortSeat, left, which makes even a pit stop a no-hands affair. Part toilet, part bidet, part air-drier, the product features a sprayer that, when activated by the push of a button, shoots a stream of pressurized water at your privates, then blows them dry. The high-tech toilet, which won an award this spring from Today's Caregiver magazine, is being marketed to the elderly, stroke victims, amputees and others requiring bathroom assistance.
Inspired by similar devices in Japan, where automatic commodes are not confined to those with medical needs, the seat comes in six different models that hook directly to a standard toilet's plumbing. The basic Easy Wash ($189) does what the name says and no more. At $1,099, the Ultimate offers adjustable water temperature, a nozzle that sweeps back and forth, air drying, a heated seat, a front wash for women (pink button!), and a host of special needs options. It even cleans itself. One style allows users to push buttons with their feet; another, with their backs.
"It's a life-changing product," says Scott Rubin, president of product maker Great Ideas Inc. "It makes people more independent."
-- Matt McMillen