Here in America, we don’t really think about innovative technologies when we go to the bathroom, but that might be changing very soon.
Imagine a “smart bathroom” where your shower knows your favorite play list and your toilet cleans itself. Believe it or not, products like this already exist, and they are easily adaptable to your current bathroom. The bathroom is the most used room in your entire house; everything else in our lives is techy, so why not the bathroom?
In fact, “bathrooms have overtaken kitchens as the nation’s top remodeling priority” as more people seek increased comfort and technology. People are also becoming more aware of the environmental waste that bathrooms accumulate (think water and paper waste). This means more bathrooms are featuring gadgets like bathrooms and showers with touchpads and entertainment options like TVs and built-in audio systems. New technology also allows users to control lighting, water temperature and floor temperature remotely. Newer products like the iDream Steam Shower and the Brondell Swash 1000 bidet are just two examples of how manufacturers are meeting the needs of a group of consumers who are more concerned with convenience and innovation. The iDream Steam Shower features touch controls that allow users to control light, smell and sound with aroma therapy and a sound system that is fully customizable, and the Brondell Swash 1000 bidet is an electronic bidet with a tankless water heating system, warm air dryer and self-cleaning nozzles that make it possible to fully customize everything from the temperature of your water to the cleaning process.
And speaking of the bidet, the NY Times recently featured an article on the electronic toilet seat as a luxury you “won’t want to live without.” Europeans have long embraced the bidet as part of the “going experience,” but Americans have been a bit slower to accept a toilet that shoots water at their bums. But, it’s so much more than that, as many Americans are now experiencing. There are also many environmental benefits to the bidet and a more intuitive bathroom, attributing the companies who manufacture these products to a “growing cultural acceptance of discussing how we wipe.”
The Japanese have also been ahead of the curve with technologies in the bathroom. In Japan, the shower is used for cleaning yourself while the bathtub is used for soaking, and you would never find a toilet next to a bathroom. This culture embraces the relaxation factor of a good bathtub soaking and the cleanliness of a bidet, and so they make their bathrooms as comfortable, sanitary and convenient as possible. In fact, in Japan, “74 percent of Japanese households have toilets of the high-tech persuasion, making them more common there than home computers.”
So maybe we Americans could borrow a thing or two from these cultures who embrace technology, even in the bathroom.