The smart bathroom often gets left behind when you’re building out a connected home and today we’re here to give you a few pointers to help you remedy that. Think about it, if you’ve got a large family, particularly one with several young children constantly demanding your attention, the bathroom is often just about your only refuge if you need a little me-time. Something else worth bearing in mind is that a smart bathroom can really add to the value of your home if you decide it’s time to sell up and move on. Over three-quarters of younger buyers
fully expect prospective properties to be tricked out with smart devices so we’re here to show you how you can smarten up your bathroom with that demographic in mind.
10 Easy Ways To Utilize a Smart Bathroom
We’re not going in-depth with any specific products today but we’ll serve up some handy ideas to get your creative juices whirling. As with any element of a successful smart home, you should laser in on what fits best with the needs of you and your family. Working from that foundation, a personalized connected home is easily achieved.
1) Voice Control in The Bathroom
48% of American with broadband at home
use digital assistants. The mighty trio of Alexa, Google Siri, and Google Assistant are expected to attract almost 2 billion users by 2021
. The great thing about using your virtual butler in the smart bathroom is that you won’t need any specific devices. You’ll be able to adjust smart lighting using an Echo device or take advantage of voice control to avoid getting your phone wet when you’re searching for music as you soak in the tub. Kohler, darling of this year’s CES, have a range of smart bathroom products we’ll glimpse at in due course that harness a dedicated platform Konnect. If you’re looking for a less hands-on experience, you can use Alexa to take charge of these devices with simple voice commands. While virtual digital assistants add a layer of convenience throughout your whole smart home, having wet hands in the bathroom means they come fully to the fore and it won’t be long until functionality ramps up still further.
2) Smart Showers
If you’re tired of messing around in the shower with the water scalding hot one minute then absolutely freezing the next, you should seriously consider a digital shower. Imagine LED lights glowing red to guide you rather than being forced to rely on that primitive dial to get the temperature just right. If that sounds like technology for technology’s sake, think about a more practical use… When you’re showering your little ones, poorly calibrated water temperature can be downright dangerous rather than mildly inconvenient. The most effective smart showers pack digital valves and they have flashing LEDs that stay red as the water gets up to temperature, switch to white when it’s optimized then turn blue once it’s cooling down. Not only is this is a nice injection of fun into shower time with your kids, but it’s also an excellent safety feature into the bargain. You can also find those luxe rain shower heads with integrated Bluetooth speakers if you’re tired of hearing your husband’s tuneless singing in the shower. Treat him for Christmas and enjoy some proper music yourself rather than those strangled warblings you hear over the running water. The speaker connects wirelessly to a smartphone and you’ll even be able to take a call, although we wouldn’t recommend invading your sanctuary with that!
3) Soaking Tubs
An invigorating shower has its place, but how about when you fancy a long soak in the tub? With soaking tubs, you can make bath time more decadent than ever before… You could get things started with a whirlpool bath to bring the spa home to you. Light some scented candles, fire up some music from your smart speaker and ease back into those bubbles. Air baths are a nice twist on the jacuzzi with channels of air pumping in to replicate the experience of bathing in a hot spring. If you’ve got enough space in your bathroom, standalone soaking tubs look great and eliminate the clutter of that showerhead and coiled tubing spoiling the minimalist aesthetic. Smart bathrooms can be focused on design and keeping things uncluttered as well as using bleeding edge technology. Combine both and you can hit 2019 in the finest of style.
4) 21st Century Toilets
The Japanese have led the way for years with smart toilets often so complicated you feel like you need a user manual to operate them. If you don’t like the idea of using paper but you find the thought of using a cold bidet or spritzing wand equally unappetizing, the Asian take on toilets is starting to gain common currency here in the US. These smart toilets have temperature-controlled water to prevent that sharp intake of breath as you’re blasted with an icy cold jet and automatic dryers kick in so you’re ready to leap up and head back out into your smart home refreshed after a hands-free experience. Seat warmers make that fear of lowering yourself onto a ring of ice a thing of the past. You can find seats with motion sensors so you never again need that tedious argument of whether the seat should stay up or down. And, if you’re obsessive about germs and hygiene, self-cleaning toilets will bring a smile to your face.
5) Intelligent Faucets
Digital faucets carry the twin advantage of making your bathroom routine more convenient while also helping you conserve water so you can save money while doing your part for the environment at the same time. With the reduced flow and automatic temperature control, you’ll use less water and require less power to heat it up while also saving yourself from fiddling around. Touchless technology much like you find in public restrooms is now readily available to slot into your smart home so the water or hot air comes on when your hands approach and shuts off when you remove them. Again, this can bring about significant savings over the course of a year. If you want to teach your kids about conserving water when, for example, they’re brushing their teeth, programmable timers can help them to achieve this while also encouraging them to spend enough time brushing those pearly whites.
6) Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall…
2019 is set to be the year of the smart mirror. If you’re sick of the mirror steaming up when you’re shaving, you’ll be able to invest in models with demisters built in so you can avoid endlessly using your hand to get rid of that condensation. Although it’s going to run you the better part of $10,000, you can even get cyber mirrors
with WiFi connectivity and an onboard video player. The only thing missing is voice control so you won’t be able to ask who is the most beautiful of them all… You’ll be able to do pretty much everything else, though. Kohler
smart mirrors boast Alexa functionality so you can tweak the lighting and plenty of other brands are starting to introduce beauty feedback, weather, traffic and news reports so you can ease into your day as you primp and preen.
7) Smart Scales
If you like to take care of yourself, digital scales offer far more than just a rough idea of your weight. You can monitor the progress of your training with precision and get feedback on your BMI, muscle mass and body fat percentage for a more rounded picture. Hooking up to your smart scales in-app allows you to make better use of this data and to see visual charts to help you hit it harder or treat yourself when you hit your goals. The added kicker is that most smart scales look great too. They make a superb addition to any design-driven smart bathroom and a refreshing change from those massive hunks of metal you end up tucking away in the closet rather than leaving on display.
8) Music To Your Ears
With many bleeding-edge shower heads, you’ll get Bluetooth connectivity and onboard speakers so you can pump yourself up for the day with your favorite playlist. Waterproof speakers are commonplace and you can, of course, bring Alexa into the bathroom with you if you’re not shy! The only snag with voice control in the bathroom is the difficulty of making yourself heard over running water, but if you prefer baths to showers, this is not necessarily an issue.
As with all areas of your smart home devices
, if you’re inclined toward the latest gadgetry, you can indulge yourself in the smart bathroom. Iced cabinets are great for keeping medication cool. Smart medicine cabinets are ideal if you forget to take your daily dose. Waterproof TVs are commonplace if pricey, but if you like a long soak in the tub and you don’t fancy endangering your laptop, why not treat yourself and the family this Christmas? Auto-filling tabs take the tedium out of waiting for the bath to run and you can even start the water with voice control so you feel like you’re on the set of a sci-fi movie, apt as we come ever closer to 2020. Toothbrushes and shavers are getting ever smarter and this is really just the tip of the iceberg so let yourself run wild and trick out your bathroom to get 2019 started smart-style. Utimately, you can do whatever you need to by installing a smart outlet
Last but by no means least, you can physically smarten up your bathroom on the design front. We’re not here to give you interior décor tips and anyway that’s entirely personal. What we would say is that refreshing the fixtures and fittings is a superb counterpoint to all that tech and will leave the smallest room in the house standing proud and smartened up a treat on all counts. If you'd like more information on the latest smart home products and tips visit our home automation blog