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The IoT Will Influence the Bathroom of the Future

By Special Guest
Megan Ray Nichols, Science Correspondent
October 11, 2017

The era of the modern smart building is here to stay. Most of us already have smartphones and other smart devices like watches or fitness monitors, but the Internet of Things (IoT) is pushing the boundaries of next-gen technology now more than ever before. Not only do we see numerous smart appliances and innovations in new and existing structures, but it’s useful in some areas you might not expect — including the bathroom.

Leave Your Smartphone in the Other Room
Many of us bring our smartphones into the bathroom with us for our morning routines. You might shave or do your makeup while browsing social media, or use your device to play music during your daily shower. All of this is about to change, thanks to the IoT and the smart bathroom of the future.

Instead of bringing the phone into the bathroom with you, which could spread dirt and germs throughout other parts of the home or building, consumers are relying on devices like Bluetooth speakers, smart showers, connected dispensers, occupancy trackers and much more. The growing popularity and widespread accessibility of technology are also driving consumer costs down, which also makes these innovations more affordable than ever before.

Futuristic Toilets
The modern toilet serves a simple, yet valuable, purpose in today’s society. Though there are various styles and options to choose from, toilets have remained relatively unchanged for decades — until now.

Some of us have used water-efficient toilets for quite some time now. These work great when reducing your overall water usage on a day-to-day basis, but the toilets of the future can analyze your waste and assess your health. Such technology isn’t quite perfect, but it might be here sooner than you think.

According to some, the next-gen toilet could diagnose numerous symptoms and health issues. These include:

  • Integrated sensors might make the traditional home pregnancy test a thing of the past. Not only could this technology spare you an embarrassing or unnecessary trip to the store, but advanced sensors can detect pregnancy earlier than home kits.
  • Sensors can also determine any toxicity within your system and report on metrics like your blood-alcohol level. Advanced toilets use the IoT to provide recommendations on fluid and food intake to treat hangovers or other deficiencies.

Infections and viruses — Some infections and viruses are easy to identify by examining an individual’s stool, but it’s something many of us try to avoid. The smart toilet could provide insight, including available treatment options, from the privacy of your bathroom.

These features might sound like they’re a product of science fiction, but some experts think we’ll see these innovations — and more — within the next few years. Much of the necessary technology already exists, so it’s primarily a process of putting the pieces together and completing the puzzle.

Smart Showers
Smart showers are a huge hit with millennials and eco-conscious homeowners alike. Current models preheat water from your smartphone, monitor water usage and even control lighting in the room. There are many different smart shower systems to choose from, each of which offers distinct features and advantages. Whether you’re trying to improve the aesthetics in your bathroom or you want a next-gen shower that helps you save money, there are plenty of options available.

Occupancy Trackers
Although an occupancy tracker isn’t a household device, it is invaluable when monitoring lines and wait times of public or shared bathrooms. Customers who wait too long will certainly become dissatisfied and harder to please in general, while your employees will see their productivity suffer.

In cases like this, IoT-powered occupancy trackers automatically monitor occupancy and report this information, via estimated wait times, through mobile apps or other devices. Some systems even provide recommendations on an alternate bathroom with a shorter wait.

How to Make the Most of the IoT
The IoT involves much more than your smartphone and Internet connection. At its fullest extent, the IoT offers increased accessibility and efficiency within every facet of your daily life. Some IoT-powered systems are complementary to your current smartphone or tablet, but others function without these devices. In either case, it’s safe to say the IoT — and the smart bathroom — are here to stay. 




Edited by Ken Briodagh
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