If you Google “smart home 2019”, you’ll find endless articles about cool gadgets and new technologies that will change the way you interact with your home and family. Whether you are sitting at home watching Netflix (that you turned on with the sound of your voice) or on vacation 1,000 miles away, you can turn down your A/C using your smart thermostat, turn on your oven, close your garage door, adjust lights, and arm or disarm your security system.
Talk briefly with the Jerry Callahan, founder and CEO at Heatworks, and he'll describe a bathroom of the future where your bathroom fixture welcomes you in the morning with a soothing “Good morning, Sunshine.” As you walk into the shower, it turns on automatically to the exact temperature you prefer. Should your smoke alarm go off while showering (which happens 10% of the time), instead of putting yourself in a dangerous position, the hot water will automatically turn off, alerting you to a potential problem. You will know exactly how much water you used during each shower, and will be rewarded by the water company if you choose to shower in off-peak times.
We recently sat down with Jerry to discuss what other changes he sees on the horizon.
"I predict that hot water heaters as we know them today -- a standalone tank where hot water is stored and then sent to the location in the house where it is needed -- will not exist," Jerry said. "Instead, the water heating will occur in each individual faucet or appliance instantly and on demand through Ohmic Array Technology." This will eliminate the water and energy waste created in today's homes when people wait one or two minutes for their water to become hot.
It's no wonder why Jerry also predicts that smart home technology will continue to allow us to significantly reduce energy and water usage, as well as the associated costs. "Real-time data access will help consumers plan best and can save people hundreds of dollars a year," Jerry added.
Is it safe to say we are now living in Orbit City along with the Jetsons? Well, our vacuums have been cleaning on their own for years, cars are now driving themselves, and lightbulbs can float.
We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite smart bathroom features below, and plan on seeing more of these innovations in our Heatworks' office soon.
Smart toilets and smart toilet features have changed the face of potty talk: auto flush, seat and floor heating, hands-free flushing and cleansing, sanitation sensors, and the ability to connect to your other home devices. Companies like Saniflow, Grohe, and Kohler, with the introduction of the Numi Intelligent Toilet and Kohler Konnect smart bathroom lineup at last year’s CES, continue to make developments in the industry. This year, the Numi 2.0 displayed the developments Kohler is making in their smart bathroom technology; seriously, check this out!
And, we couldn’t speak to smart toilets without mentioning ToTo’s Neorest series. This innovative toilet series includes models starting at $10,000. Check out the Neorest 750H with Actilight technology on ToTo’s website. The list of 16 highlighted features, such as Actilight UV light cleaning, auto lid functioning, and a programmable energy saver system are a few of the reasons these futuristic toilets carry a steep price tag.
Snow White’s mirror has nothing on these gadgets! These smart mirrors are really cool and the concepts companies like HiMirror, Kohler, and Philips are introducing are real game changers. While smart mirrors like the HiMirror, which coins itself as being your [fully connected] at-home beauty and health consultant, and Kohler’s Verdera voice-lighted mirror that comes Alexa-enabled, are available for purchase now, we’re particularly interested in seeing where Philips take their comprehensive smart mirror, Philips Smart Mirror, that was introduced at CES last year. Not only does Philips’ mirror respond to simple commands like on/off and dim/bright, the mirror provides an interactive experience when brushing your teeth and shaving, providing personalized data-based recommendations through total connectivity.
Touchless faucets seem to commonly make their appearance in kitchens -- clean those chicken hands without touching the handles and wash the germs away -- makes total sense to us. However, hand-free faucets are not a bad idea for your bathroom, either. Smart faucets have developed from a simple on/off wave, to concepts that include interactive screens and live-streaming. The Moen Motion Sense with two flow sensor options, and Delta’s Touch2O Technology with temperature sensors, allows the user a hands-free experience and the chance to interact with their faucet in a smarter way. We can’t help but do a double-take at the European design and technology company Oras, who has produced a line of smart touchless faucets that employ Bluetooth connectivity and pair with a user-friendly app. Check the feature out here: Oras App Feature.
Scales Weighing In
The Withings Wi-Fi connected, body composition scale is a one-stop tool for connected weight management and fitness. If the ump-teem features of this scale aren’t enough to peak your interest, how about this: it connects to over 100 health and fitness apps. In addition to monitoring hydration, tracking bone, muscle, and fat mass, and acting as your personal nutritionist, this smart scale also knows the weather, and keeps a personal history for each of its users. For under $100, this scale truly is smart addition to your bathroom.
Green Shower Heads
Through Bluetooth connectivity, many shower heads now come with smart features that allow users to connect with their personal devices. The Kohler Moxie houses a wireless speaker so you can play music, stream events, listen to the game, or catch your favorite podcasts while taking a shower. Moen offers better overall control with Alexa-connected U by Moen. And, close to our hearts, the Waterhawk shower head monitors water usage, a green mission that we at Heatworks can certainly stand behind. Check it out here: Waterhawk Rain Shower Head.