Kimberly-Clark First to Elusive Hands-Free Toilet Paper Dispenser Market

Who but the greatest public-restroom aficionados knew that the "final touchless restroom frontier" was the electronic toilet-paper dispenser? I for one am surprised that no one has tried to market this already. But sure enough, I just heard from public-restroom mainstay Kimberly-Clark, who announced the JRT* Electronic Coreless, the world's first touchless electronic bath-tissue dispenser. As Richard Thorne, director of Kimberly-Clark's North American washroom business put it: "The electronic revolution has entered the bathroom stall." The following is all true.

When you wave your hand under a sensor on the machine, a given amount of toilet paper is rolled out through what Kimberly-Clark is calling "controlled dispensing". Although K-C promise a 20% reduction in the amount of TP actually used, I'm going to go on a limb and say that there will be some for whom a second wave of the hand will be required. Sheet length is programmable— 16" (Short), 20" (Medium) and 24" (Good lord what hath ye wrought?)—but alas, it will not be up to the user to do the programming.

Who knew one of the benefits of a "properly installed" dispenser was "one-handed dispensing"? And I don't think they are talking about masturbation here, believe it or not. Turns out, one-handed dispensing is totally important for compliance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) too.

The good news is that, in the event that the batteries on the JRT* Electronic Coreless (yes, "coreless") run down, there's a manual override. "Users can also obtain bath tissue manually, by pushing and turning a knob on the front of the dispenser."

There's no mention of steel reinforcement or any other anti-vandalism measures, but the brushed-steel look is promising. If you happen to see one out in the wild, perform a quick durability test and get back to us, will you? In the meantime, happy dispensing!

One of the most amusing press releases I've read in a while:

Kimberly-Clark Professional Crosses Final Touchless Frontier With Introduction of First Electronic Bath Tissue Dispenser

Advanced Electronics Bring Hygienic, No-Touch Dispensing To Restroom Stall

ROSWELL, Ga. (July 9, 2007) - Kimberly-Clark Professional is about to go where no health and hygiene company has gone before - crossing the final touchless restroom frontier - with the introduction of the first electronic bath tissue dispenser.

While many public restrooms offer hygienic no-touch dispensing for sinks, hand towels and soap, bath tissue has not been included in this trend. Until now — with today's launch of the Kimberly-Clark Professional* JRT* Electronic Coreless bath tissue dispenser.

"The electronic revolution has entered the bathroom stall," said Richard Thorne, director of the washroom business, North America, for Kimberly-Clark Professional. "It's a major leap forward in restroom hygiene because it eliminates the need to touch the dispenser during use."

The new system automatically dispenses a pre-measured amount of toilet paper when users place their hands under the dispenser. The ground-breaking dispenser combines the unique benefits of advanced touchless electronics with high-capacity SCOTT® coreless bathroom tissue (which eliminates the hole and cardboard core in the center of the roll). The result: enhanced restroom hygiene, reduced consumption and hassle-free performance. Another plus is compliance with the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), when properly installed, because of the system's easy one-handed dispensing.

The JRT* Electronic Coreless bath tissue dispenser offers a variety of other benefits, including:

• A 20 percent reduction in the amount of bath tissue used, through controlled dispensing.

• 45 percent less packaging waste than standard cored Jumbo Roll Bath Tissue.

• A battery life of more than one year.

• Programmable sheet lengths to provide users with more options. These include short (16"), medium (20") and long (24") settings.

• Sensor placements that enable the dispenser to be installed on either side of the stall.

Users can also obtain bath tissue manually, by pushing and turning a knob on the front of the dispenser. In addition, the unit offers a stub roll feature that allows for manual feeding of the tissue. LED lights let maintenance workers know when paper and battery levels are low to reduce the risk of battery or product run out.

The JRT* Electronic Coreless bath tissue dispenser is the latest addition to the Kimberly-Clark Professional family of hygienic product solutions for the washroom. For more information on the JRT* Electronic Coreless bath tissue dispenser, visit http://www.kcprofessional.com.