In recent years, we’ve seen science fiction become a reality with the rise of the smart home. From entertainment to lighting, everything can now be controlled with a simple voice command, or even remotely, using your smartphone, from anywhere in the world.
The launch of smart home systems like Google Home and Amazon Alexa has meant that the concept of an intelligent home is much more affordable and accessible these days. Combined with other gadgets, like smart meters for your gas and electricity, it is now easier to save money and reduce effort.
While the bathroom of the present may look quite different from those of previous generations, many of the fundamentals remain the same. Taps, basins, baths, and toilets all contain much of the same technology that has been around for decades. However, significant changes are appearing on the horizon. Here are some great ways you can design your very own smart bathroom.
Smart Showering Systems
Some of the most significant and most fundamental changes will affect the way we shower. A lot of time and research has been spent on creating showers that take simple running water and turn it into a customisable and invigorating experience.
Electric showers and power showers, which use electricity to heat and pump water, have been closely followed by the launch of digital showers, which use a programmable unit to precisely control temperature and flow. The next leap into the future is the smart shower.
There are some new smart showers on the market, like SmarTap from VictoriaPlum.com, which take the idea of the digital shower a step further. A smart shower should be able to integrate seamlessly with your smart home system (like Amazon Alexa), so you could potentially switch it on from anywhere simply by saying “Alexa. Start my morning shower.”
Not only does a smart shower allow for hands-free control, but it will also allow you to customise and pre-programme your perfect showering experience, and let your family do likewise. If you’ve just come back from the gym or a run, you could start your shower off cool, to help your muscles recover quicker. Or, if your kids spend ages in the shower, you could set a maximum duration.
Much like your mobile phone, smart showers work with an operating system which can be upgraded as technology progresses, future-proofing your bathroom. Plus, it should be able to detect and rectify issues with your plumbing (for example, if your pipes are frozen or if the water pressure drops) and you could use it to check on an elderly relative, to ensure they are keeping up-to-date with their hygiene routine. The possibilities are almost endless.
Yes, incredibly mirrors are also getting much smarter. While illuminated mirrors are nothing new, LED mirrors are now available with some fantastic new features to help make your life easier.
One of the big frustrations, when stepping out of your bath or shower, is going to admire yourself in the mirror and being greeted by a wall of fogged up glass with a blurry outline which could be anything. You know the score: You either wait what can seem like an eternity for the mirror to clear or wipe it, which often leaves a smeared mess behind.
These days, it doesn’t have to be like this. LED mirrors now come with demisters and even infrared on and off switches. So, even directly after a bath or shower, with wet or soapy hands, you can switch the mirror on, and it will clear in seconds. Perfect for those of us who live busy lives, where those precious seconds count.
With smart devices, a whole world of music can be streamed directly to any room in your home.
As we all know, singing in the shower is one of our favourite pastimes, so why not create a showering space that is bang on-trend with a Bluetooth shower speaker? Fitting to your shower head and detaching only when you need to charge it, your Bluetooth speaker allows you to hear the music above the whoosh of the water, for far greater clarity. So you can sing along to your heart’s content. Give your bathroom in the Christmas mood with a festive playlist, or build-up to a big night out with some banging dance tunes.
While music is excellent, you needn’t miss a minute of your favourite telly, thanks to specialist bathroom TVs. Built to withstand serious splashes, these televisual treats can be fitted flush to your tiles, blending in perfectly with the rest of your décor. A heated screen prevents it from fogging up, and waterproof remote control means no worrying about dropping it in the bath.
Fancy saving some money while you warm your toes? With the new generation of smart underfloor heating, you can do just that.
Lack of space is often an issue in bathrooms, with cumbersome radiators and towel rails taking up vital wall space. Underfloor heating provides a much cleaner look and is less obtrusive. Plus, the big thing is, you can set your room temperature individually. So, no need to heat your bathroom until you come to use it.
Modern underfloor heating uses a smart thermostat which can learn the optimum times and temperatures to heat your bathroom. Not only that, some can even look for cheaper energy tariffs and provide you with local transport reports, helping to save you cash and plan your day.
With the pace of technology advancing rapidly, it really won’t be long before we all begin enjoying the benefits of a smart bathroom, which fits neatly into our smart home. So, instead of fighting against it, why not ride the wave of the future?