The idea of a smart bathroom can be intimidating — having to interact with machines supposedly more intelligent than you are first thing in the morning and last thing at night may not fit into your idea of a relaxing routine to ease in and out of your day.
But you don’t need to fear the arrival of 21st century technology into this most personal chamber of your home. It’s here to get your shower to the right temperature without you having to struggle and swear and help you in many other ways that will make your life easier and more efficient.
Let’s get the one some people don’t want to talk about out of the way first. These are a vast improvement on the traditional models with heated antimicrobial seats, touchless lids and flushing and a built-in bidet, complete with drying functions.
Maintenance is a breeze with their self-cleaning and deodorizing capabilities and ability to report leaks and other problems.
Toilet inserts that can analyze your waste and help monitor your health are on the verge of hitting the commercial market, and smart toilets that can give you a clean bill of health or catch early warning signals are nipping at their heels.
We’re all familiar with touchless faucets from public restrooms and know they can be either fantastic or frustrating. Home versions incorporate temperature gauges to preheat or cool the water before it hits your hands and efficiency sensors to control flow to reduce water waste.
Advanced models can respond to voice commands and operate on a preset schedule for tasks such as brushing teeth. If you’re not opposed to some touching, many models will respond to a tap anywhere on or around the surface to take the guesswork out of activating them via infrared sensor, and most do include manual handles as well.
Besides remote turn-on by phone or voice and no-fuss entry, a smart shower is efficient and responsive. It allows you to set the flow rate, install timers to limit shower duration and cap the temperature to prevent burns.
They’re able to maintain temperature consistency so you don’t have to deal with surprise fluctuations, produce steam to your preferred specs and activate shower attachments.
That doesn’t even get into the truly luxurious bells and whistles like a wireless speaker mounted on the showerhead to set the morning or evening mood and waterproof screens to show your favorite YouTube clips or catch you up on the news.
Scales have been collecting information that goes far beyond weight for a while now by calculating BMI, body fat percentage, muscle and bone mass, heart and metabolic rate and other stats with varying degrees of accuracy, sending the data to phone and computer apps.
Now this technology is merging with the bathmat for an even more seamless way to collect this data while also analyzing posture and balance. They recognize family members by their footprints, and some can deliver personalized coaching experiences to each.