The Bathroom of the Future: 4 Places for Tech in the Bathroom
Such high-tech devices are not in widespread use yet, but, according to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, demand for them increased from 19 percent in 2016 to 26 percent in 2017. Whether you’re ready to invest in high-tech bathroom features or are just interested in knowing what’s on the market, here are four pieces of bathroom tech to consider.
From your phone, you can also turn the shower on and off, and pause it if needed. Beyond controlling the shower system, you can set up showering preferences, such as shower temperature, within the smartphone app.
You are able to control the shower with your voice because the smart shower system works with Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices. You can speak to Alexa to turn on the shower and give it specific instructions.
Poloha says commands include: “Alexa, tell Moen to start preset ‘Morning Shower,’” “Alexa, tell Moen to turn on to 103 degrees” and “Alexa, tell Moen to turn off my shower.”
A smart showering system isn’t a necessity, but for those interested in smart home tech, it could be something to add onto your smart home features.
“Moen wants homeowners to have the ability to integrate their shower into their smart home ecosystem, and enjoy the convenience of a connected lifestyle,” Poloha says.
Poloha also points out that such tech could have eco-friendly benefits. “With its warm-up and pause feature, users can save water by having the shower warm up to the desired temperature and pause, holding the setting, until you’re ready to get in,” he says. “The shower system also allows users to set timers for the length of the shower, which will keep you on schedule and help control water usage.”
U isn’t the only smart shower system on the market. There are others from Kohler, Elmer and Hydrao, which focuses specifically on water savings. If you’re in the market for a smart showering system, do your research and talk to your design professional to see what system might work in your home.
The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror by Kohler is another Alexa-enabled product. You can use voice commands to turn the mirror’s side light on to a specific mode or to the desired percentage of full power. For example, you can say “Alexa, turn light to makeup mode.” Or, you can specify exactly how bright you want the lights with commands like “Alexa, turn lights to 40 percent.”
Like U by Moen, the Kohler mirror can also control your shower, and it also has the potential to control your faucet, bathtub and even your toilet. You can purchase these other smart appliances from Kohler without the Verdera mirror, which is a nice option for users who don’t want an entirely connected bathroom.
“Kohler Konnect products are made to function with the Konnect App, a voice command assistant, manually or a combination of these,” says Jonathan Bradley, Kohler new-product development project leader. “Some consumers may seek a full-connected bathroom experience, in which utilizing the Verdera Voice to control other products may be the ideal scenario. For others who are looking to engage in an experience on a small scale, integrating one or two connected products into their space may be a perfect solution.”
“It’s all about making life easier — even the little moments,” Bradley says. “Imagine drawing a bath without monitoring the hot and cold water. Imagine flushing without using your hands. It’s all about convenience, personalization and comfort.”
The Verdera Voice mirror is expected to launch in spring 2018, he says.
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The Neorest by Toto offers both of those features. This toilet even has water jets that can wash your bottom with one of three modes. The toilet is covered with a ceramic glaze that reduces bacteria buildup and minimizes mold growth and debris. Inside the bowl, the water stays clean thanks to an electrolysis process. Each flush uses only 1.28 gallons of water, making this toilet an eco-friendly, sustainable choice.
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Delta wants to make it easier to turn on these high-tech faucets with its new sensing technology. This faucet innovation is different from the sensors you typically see because it detects the presence of a person’s hands anywhere around the fixture. Additionally, you can start or stop the flow of water by tapping the lever-style handle at the top or any section of the spout.
This technology could also prevent you from having to polish the fixture as often because people won’t smudge it with their fingerprints every time they use it.