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July 22, 2004

Placement of Toto Washlet controls relative to toilet

At work we have a bunch of Toto washlets. One day I was explaining to some friends about the wall-attached remote control. One of them, in annoyed puzzlement, asked why on earth would you need a remote-controlled bidet control? This sketch is an exploration of different solutions based on my task analysis.

3-panel image. Sketches of 3 different scenarios.

Fig 1: Wall-mounted controls -- disconnected from toilet; will have to use IR or Bluetooth to communicate with mother ship. Visible to user; within physical reach. Recommended.

Fig 2: Save money by directly mounting controls to toilet, sending commands via physical wire. User may not see that the controls exist, and will not be able to read labels & effectively read & understand the various functions.

Fig. 3: Rear-mount controls. User will be aware that they exist, but will be highly uncomfortable turning around to try to read labels and press buttons. Moreover, twisting the torso while water is spraying from the bowl risks CATASTROPHIC FAILURE, as the user may no longer be in the path of the water stream.