The Future of Smart Bathroom Technology
| By: Fernando Palarca
A few years ago, P&G debuted a small robot at CES that could deliver a roll of toilet paper while you were otherwise occupied. While this was probably just a silly gimmick to garner headlines (FYI, it worked), new research is focused on developing smart technology for the bathroom that is both practical and accessible. Water conservation, safety and convenience are just a few of the benefits users can realize when integrating smart devices into their bathroom.
Smart Showers for a Curated Experience
A typical person will use about 17 gallons of water each time they take a shower. Low-flow shower heads help reduce water consumption however, new smart shower valves can lower the total volume of water even further. For instance, users may spend extra time trying to adjust the water temperature to their preferred setting. Smart valves can be voice-controlled to set the temperature to a specific degree therefore minimizing the temperature adjustment time. These valves use a stepper motor to precisely open and close each water input (hot and cold). This feature would be ideal in hotels, gyms and spas because people typically spend longer adjusting water temperature when using an unfamiliar faucet.
Touch-free Cleaning with Smart Toilets
Toilets equipped with bidets, heated seats and automatic wash functions are gaining popularity in the U.S. as prices become more accessible. Smart toilet seats use motors to open and close based on input from proximity sensors – this function, along with an automatic flush, helps maximize the advantages of touch-free fixtures.
Advanced systems may include additional features such as nightlights, automatic cleaning and UV disinfection. The bathroom is typically a homeowners least favorite room to clean which could mean high adoption for the technology that promises to reduce these unpleasant tasks.
In recent years, researchers have started to explore technology that allows smart toilets to provide health and wellness feedback. New prototypes have emerged that show how these toilets can help diagnose health problems based on an analysis of a user’s waste. This can help doctors and patients monitor and treat chronic diseases more effectively.
Is the Smart Home Market Ready for Smart Bathroom Tech?
Smart bathroom technology doesn’t stop at toilets, faucets and showers – there are also smart mirrors that can adjust lighting to your preference and even display the weather forecast. Some people might be wary of having connected objects located in the most private room in the home, but the benefits are starting to outweigh the concerns and generating more demand in the smart bathroom market. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely onboard with a self-cleaning toilet – especially if it helps me save water. Learn more about consumer technology that is creating the smart home of the future.