A toilet hack suggests that not all appliances benefit from being smart.
According to its makers, LIXIL, the Satis smart toilet's combination of the highest water conservation standards plus its huge list of relaxing comfort features -- designed to appeal to each of the human senses -- results in a toilet experience that "takes you to an unimagined new level."
Quickly becoming a standard feature in up-market Japanese hotels and resturants, the Satis is also available in the US for $5000.
However, it appears that the toilet can also be hacked.
The Satis is so technologically advanced that it even comes with its own Android app for lifting the seat, activating the bidet feature, remote flushing and for playing a selection of music.
And because the PIN number that gives an app access to a toilet's controls is automatically set at 0000, any techno toilet can be commandeered by any phone running the app. According to Trustwave Holdings' SpiderLabs, who discovered the exploit: "any person using the "My Satis" application can control any Satis toilet.
An attacker could simply download the "My Satis" application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner. Attackers could cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to user."
LIXIL is yet to respond to the discovery but the episode highlights a debate as to whether some aspects of consumers' lives really should be online, connected, smart or indeed digital in any way. It also raises serious questions regarding hygiene. Countless studies and reports have underlined the health risks associated with taking a smartphone into the bathroom.