Tiny panels talk to you and play melodies, just like the real thing. 

In Japan, it’s not just the microwaves that talk to you and play melodies, the bathtubs do as well. The technology behind the magic is often taken for granted in a lot of Japanese homes, where a bath with a control panel is pretty much standard, but now it’s getting its time in the limelight thanks to a new range of gacha capsule toys from Bandai.

Produced in collaboration with Noritz Corporation, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of gas-fired baths and hot water heaters, the capsule toys look just like the control panels made by the company, and there are a total of four designs in the collection.

Like the real control panels, the miniature versions play melodies and speak to you, with different phrases depending on the model. The RC-J101ME, for example, will sound out the following phrases: “Oyu hari wo shimasu” (“I’ll fill the bathtub“), “Gasu no kyou no jisseki desu” (“Today’s gas track record“) and “Ofuro ga wakimashita” (“The bath is ready“).

That final phrase plays after a short melody, and is also a feature of the The RC-8201M model, which includes the sentence “Oidaki o shimasu” (“I’ll reheat the bath“).

▼ The RC-J101ME model (left) has three different sound features, while the RC-8201M (right) has two.

The RC-E9101M model says: “Mou sugu ofuro ga wakimasu” (“The bath will be ready soon“) and “Ofuro ga wakimashita”, the latter of which is heard after a short melody.

The RC-G001MW-2 also says: “Ofuro ga wakimashita” after a melody, and “Kyuutou ondo wo yonjuudo ni henkou shimashita” (“I’ve changed the hot water temperature to 40 degrees Celsius“) and “Yuruyaka yoku de oyu hari wo shimasu” (“I’ll fill the bathtub with some gentle water“).

That last phrase refers to a special feature that fills the bath two degrees lower than the set temperature and brings it up to the set temperature once bathing is detected, to suppress a rapid rise in blood pressure and alleviate heat shock.

▼ Japanese baths really do have some amazing features.

The four miniature control panels are priced at 400 yen (US$3.51) each and will be available to purchase from Bandai’s “Gashapon” capsule vending machines, which can be found inside toy stores, mass retailers, and home appliance chains, from the fifth week of October.

Unlike Japan’s bidet toilet seats, which are becoming more widely available overseas, Japanese bath systems, with their special features and melodies, are pretty much impossible to find outside of Japan. These tiny replicas are a great way to take a little piece of Japan’s bathing culture home with you, and they make a nice addition to these ashiyu footbath bootst, which let you carry the bath with you, literally, wherever you go!

Source, images: PR Times
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