Technology is pervasive in our lives, providing added convenience and time savings not to mention a healthy dose of wow! At the 2019 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, the industry’s largest trade show, manufacturers unveiled a bevy of new technology for the bath to bring more functionality and pleasure to homeowners and builders nationwide.
At KBIS, we saw LED lighting features incorporated into tubs, mirrors, vanities, sinks and water closets to provide the right levels of light to better match natural biological processes commonly referred to as circadian rhythms. Controlling lighting levels helps prevent the jolt to your system that bright lights can create when you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or early in the morning before the sun comes up. Today’s lighting controls enable homeowners in the United States to navigate in the bathroom by providing a gentle glow, or program lighting levels to match needs and lifestyles.
Lighting can be controlled and activated through applications, motion control sensors, voice commands or home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Home assistance can fill a bathtub, turn on a shower, adjust mirror lighting, start a steam bath, play music or activate other smart devices in your home. One manufacturer has embedded Alexa in a mirror so that homeowners can utilize all of Alexa’s functionality while preparing for the day ahead or a night on the town.
Customization is another benefit of technological advances for the bath. Homeowners now have the ability to set the water temperature, steam temperature and lighting preferences for every member of their family in the shower. Advances in showerheads enable homeowners to change spray patterns through Bluetooth-enabled devices thereby eliminating the need to change settings physically. It’s a great feature, especially for those who may have a difficult time reaching the showerhead.
If you thought you had to take a ride on a space ship to float in a gravity-free zone, think again. KBIS featured new, more cost-effective models of tubs that create a zero-gravity environment. Other high-tech tubs on display combined air technology with a waterfall that massages shoulders while you soak, and featured light and aroma therapies that help to wash away the stresses of the day.
KBIS featured water closets that are self-cleaning and deodorizing and an expansion of bidet seats and functionality. Alexa has also been integrated into one toilet model, which enables customers to check the weather, order a driver service or listen to music while on the John.