Technology has worked its way into every corner of the home, from smart TVs and smart speakers to appliances that you can operate remotely from your smartphone. The most private of all the rooms in the house isn’t exempt from technology’s touch, either. Today’s connected bathrooms offer bells and whistles that are just as impressive as those you’ll find on appliances in other parts of your home. Learn more about what they can do and how they can help.
How smart Is your bathroom?
One of the prime features of a smart bathroom is a smart mirror, which can serve as a command center — not just for the bathroom, but for your entire home. A typical smart mirror has an electronic display embedded behind the glass, and it allows you to access different kinds of information based on the criteria you select.1 The information appears through the mirror glass without obscuring your reflection.
As technology has advanced, the features you can access through your smart mirror have evolved to keep up. Smart mirrors can stream your favorite morning news show while you’re getting ready, play music through high-end integrated speakers, display the weather and the traffic on your morning commute, access social media and check your latest health measurements from your favorite app.2
In addition to tending to these personal interests, some smart mirrors also link to your security system and video doorbell, allowing you to monitor outside activity while getting ready for your day.3 A smart mirror may even let you connect to and start certain smart appliances — such as your robotic vacuum cleaner — without leaving the room.3 That mirror above the sink is just the one piece in a high-tech bathroom, however.
While you may not remember the exact temperature of the water last time you used it, your smart faucet can.4 New automation in sink faucets and showers uses facial recognition to recall your personalized settings.5 This can be a great safety feature to prevent kids from getting the water too hot and scalding themselves.
Some smart showerheads even monitor the water you’re using each time you shower. They can stop the flow after a certain amount of time to help you conserve water. Voice-enabled fixtures, such as those in showerheads and bathtubs, respond to your voice commands to set water temperatures, fill the bathtub to the desired level and even flush the toilet.6
Technology that protects your home
While many of these high-tech features are designed to make your experience more comfortable and efficient, other forms of technology in the bathroom may be somewhat less exciting. But they do provide a valuable service in helping you protect your home.
Water leaks are major sources of wasted water, and they can potentially cause costly damage to your home.7 Smaller leaks can go unnoticed for long periods of time. If water seeps into areas such as the subfloor where the flooring meets the tub or sink, it can lead to mold and rot. Often, people don’t notice this damage until it has become extensive.
New technology for the smart bathroom can make it easy to detect leaks in the bathroom or other areas. Leak-detection devices install behind toilets, under sinks and inside cabinets. They then connect to an app on your smartphone. When the device discovers a leak — something it can do within a few seconds — it can notify you via the app.8 You can shut off the valve on your water main from your phone, or the device can shut the valve off automatically.9 For this to work, you need to have a connected valve installed, too.
Smart technology takes care of you and your home
Whether you’re an early adopter who always wants to have the latest and greatest technology or you want to use tech to monitor your home and keep it safer or more efficient, the right tools are ready to help you. With a smart bathroom, you can turn the most private room in your home into one of the most powerful.
1 “Smart Mirror: Smart Lab, Information Technology and Management Project,” Marika Jashinski, appliedtech.iit.edu/smart-lab-information-technology-and-management/projects/smart-mirror (2016).
2 “What is a Smart Mirror?” smartmirrorguide.com/what-is-a-smart-mirror/ (accessed Nov. 1, 2020).
3 “Savvy SmartMirror. The first. And unquestionably the best.” electricmirror.com/smart-mirror-savvy/ (accessed Nov. 1, 2020).
4 “Moen’s smart shower remembers your perfect water temperature,” Dean Takahashi, venturebeat.com/2017/01/09/moens-smart-shower-notifies-you-when-water-temp-is-just-right/ (Jan. 9, 2017).
5 “Video: iHouse SmartFaucet with face recognition is more smug than smart,” Thomas Bricker, engadget.com/2009/04/21/video-ihouse-smartfaucet-with-face-recognition-is-borderline-sm/ (April 21, 2009).
6 “Speak, shower and shave: Kohler brings smarts to your bathroom,” Rich Brown and Molly Price, cnet.com/news/speak-shower-and-shave-kohler-brings-smarts-to-your-bathroom/ (Jan. 5, 2018).
7 “Best water leak detectors for smart homes,” Jared Newman and Michael Brown, techhive.com/article/3138905/best-water-leak-detectors-for-smart-homes.html (Oct. 20, 2020).
8 “Six Sensors Every Smart Home Should Have,” Dan Price, makeuseof.com/tag/sensors-every-smart-home/ (Aug. 25, 2017).
9 “How do we make leak detection and protection easy?” leaksmart.com/how-it-works/ (accessed Nov. 1, 2020).
This insurance overview is for informational purposes only and does not replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance policies, their endorsements or their declarations pages, which are controlling. Terms and availability vary by state, and exclusions apply. Products are underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies, including Crestbrook Insurance, Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide Private Client are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.