Bathroom Design 2.0: The Function-First Solutions of the Future
Bathroom design is an interesting topic right now, as technology and innovative design are at a point of coming together to create an exciting future that focuses on functionality above all else.
There is a whole host of new technology coming from sources you wouldn’t immediately associate with bathroom design, so consider this post your primer for these new advances, leaving you well-prepared for a tech-focused future in the industry.
AR/AI: a bold new frontier
Visualising how your new bathroom will look isn’t always as simple as it sounds. No amount of pencil marks and brochure photos can compete with actually seeing your new bathroom fittings - which is where augmented reality (AR) steps in.
Mobile visualisation apps are already being rolled out by major bathroom supply companies to help customers fully visualise their new purchases - a vital addition to the purchasing process as this can help to solidify the decision making process for indecisive customers.
The KBB sector is also innovating in terms of artificial intelligence (AI). Smart computer vision can be used to quickly and easily visualise a space, making bathroom planning a whole lot easier, while machine learning can then work with the existing lighting conditions to create an ultra-accurate image of what a new bathroom would look like.
Both of these technological advances work to solve the imagination gap - wherein customers opt out of an expensive bathroom upgrade as they are unsure what it will look like. This is a great step forward for both the buyer and the retailer, making everyone’s experience that little more fruitful.
A smart, networked bathroom
Internet connected home devices are exploding in popularity. From super-smart home helpers like Google Assistant and Alexa to home thermostat controllers like Hive, there are plenty of options on the market that will make a home fit for the future.
In terms of the bathroom, the sky’s the limit. IoT (internet of things) enabled heating systems such as electric towel rails could mean that your towels will be nice and toasty on your heated bathroom radiators by the time you get home, while a smart shower could remember your favourite temperature and make sure the water is inviting at all times.
An upgrade on a regular toilet and more eco-friendly to boot, smart toilets needn’t be the reserve of chintzy sci-fi anymore. Intimate personal hygiene solutions mean that homeowners won’t need to invest in so much toilet paper or environment-damaging wet wipes, all while having a futuristic experience.
Companies such as Roca are at the forefront of bringing this type of toilet to the European market, as currently such technology is largely confined to Japanese consumers. So if you are keen to get in on the action, watch this space!
Perhaps the most exciting technological development coming in the near future involves the use of smart mirror technology to display notifications, the weather and much more. Currently, this can be done by combining a two-way mirror with an LCD display hooked to a Raspberry Pi (small, single board computer) running some simple software, but you’ll soon discover the options are virtually limitless with this kind of tech.
Smart bathroom mirrors of the future could include AR technology to help users decide on an outfit, as well as having integrated personal assistant technology to make sure that emails are answered and to-do lists sorted out before the working day even begins.
Keeping abreast of bathroom tech developments is a sure-fire way to futureproof any development or home upgrade. Adopting tech while keeping an eye on what makes a bathroom a relaxing and functional place to be is the way forward for future successes in the kitchen, Bed room, Bathroom sector (KBB), so keep your ear to the ground!
Moosa Adam works at 1 Click Bathrooms, the UK's online one-stop shop that helps homeowners build their dream bathroom piece by piece.
Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.