New Tools Make Bathrooms More High-Tech

September 30, 2019

Bathrooms are getting more technological. Many homeowners say they desire to play music in the bathroom, and they’re adding in voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to make it easier to do so, new research from the National Kitchen & Bath Association shows. “Bringing voice control into the bathroom is a big request,” David VanWert, a technology integrator in Los Angeles, told Forbes.com. “Being able to ask your house to turn on music, close the shade, and turn off the lights all hands-free is exciting.”

Designers say more clients are wanting to turn their bathrooms into entertainment and information spaces. They want Wi-Fi connectivity, charging stations for their devices, built-in speakers, and screen-enabled mirrors. “Our top bathroom technology requests include lighting control, TV mirrors, waterproof TVs, and voice control,” Jamie Briesemeister, a technology integrator in St. Louis, told Forbes.com. “Digital assistants answer questions like ‘What time is it?’ and ‘What is the weather going to be like today?’ so the homeowner can stay on track and dress appropriately without having to type into a search window.”

Also, in the master bathroom, “technology that allows relaxation is key,” according to the study. Homeowners with kids aged 6 to 12 are the most likely to use technology in their master bathroom, researchers found.

Many homeowners want to use technology to improve the appearance of the space while also making their homes safer and smarter, according to the study. “We are seeing an uptick in bathroom technology requests,” Briesemeister told Forbes.com. “As more people become comfortable with what the smartphone brings, they want to use features everywhere, all while keeping a discreet aesthetic and being as hands-free as possible.”

Homeowners are showing increased demand for smart-home systems that can control security from a phone or even alert owners when a faucet is left running. They also are showing more interest in smart mirrors that, for example, can overlay an image of who is at the front door, adds VanWert. Tubs and showers that can automatically adjust water to a desired temperature are also growing in demand, as are touch-free faucets and toilets.