Bringing the tech to bathtime: How to make your bathroom smart
You might think that the bathroom is the simplest room of the house. It's a place to clean, relax, and take care of life's essentials. But that doesn't mean it has to be the dumbest room in the house.
Of course you probably already have app control of your hot water through Evohome or Hive, so you can make sure the water's hot when you need it, but there's plenty more you can do to make your bathroom smart.
Smart showers and baths
Digital showers are fairly common, and typically, the term "digital shower" refers to how it's controlled. However, being able to remotely control your shower or bath means it can be ready before you step into the bathroom.
The Aqualisa Rise, for example, offers bath and shower controls to digitally control your water. You can precisely set the temperature, with the lighting on the unit changing to show it's nice and toasty for you. No more stepping into a cold shower.
There's remote control unit too, so you can start the shower without having to reach in and turn a tap. You can expect to pay around £800, however.
Or you might fancy the Grohe F-digital Deluxe solution. This will let you create a luxury spa, bringing in your iTunes music, controlling the lighting effects and having steam - as long as you install all the components, that is.
There's a wall-based dock for an iPod that will let you manage your home spa, running the bespoke app and giving you the interface to control everything. Of course you'll need this installed in a complete bathroom remodelling, so expect to pay a pretty penny.
Or you might consider the smart controls offered by Crosswater digital. Again you get touch controls for your bath, shower or basin and there's an app too. That means you can start your shower before you get out of bed.
You can also get stats, like the amount of water you've consumed, as well as run cleaning cycles, and for the bath you can set the fill level too. Component prices start from around £400, but that's just for a controller.
If you want to add music to your bathroom, you've plenty of choice, and where better to start than your showerhead? That's right, the Kohler Moxie has an integrated Bluetooth speaker for your tunes, giving you up to 7 hours of music. There are various styles and colours and you can expect to pay around £100.
If that doesn't strike a chord with you, then maybe the Bauhaus Revive mirror will. It offers stereo speakers so you can connect via Bluetooth for your tunes, and is a heated mirror, so it stays mist-free in your bathroom. It will cost you around £300.
Alternatively, there's no shortage of waterproof Bluetooth speakers. You don't have to go for the iDuck speaker, although it adds a bit of fun. Perhaps the UE Boom will add a little style to your high-tech bathroom. This great speaker costs £130, but it's as handy on days out as it is in the bathroom.
Gadgets and accessories
Aside from your smart fixtures and fittings, there are plenty of clever connected bathroom accessories too.
The addition of a GU10 type bulb to the Philips Hue range means that for those with recessed lighting in the ceiling can easily move to Hue and get full control over the colour and brightness from your phone.
Just make sure that your phone isn't going to be the weak link in the bathroom chain, but with devices like the Sony Xperia Z2 offering an IP67 rating, that shouldn't be a problem. A Hue GU10 Starter Kit will cost you £179 including three bulbs. Additional single bulbs are £49.
If you want to know more about what's going on in your mouth, then look no further than the Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries electric toothbrush.
Not only does this brush bring all the advantages of an electric toothbrush, but it's Bluetooth connected too. That means you'll be able to gather brushing data on your iPhone and share that with your dentist, or just see how you've been getting on. It's fairly expensive at £229.
The bathroom is traditionally the place that people weigh themselves too and there's no shortage of options here.
If you're a sports and fitness fan, then the Fitbit Aria is a well worth a look. This smart scale is connected to your home Wi-Fi and links into the Fitbit world, so will deliver your stats to your online account, accessible though a browser or apps.
It's not just for Fitbit users, however, as the Aria can cater for, and track, up to 8 people, delivering your weight, body fat and BMI. The Fitbit Aria will cost you £99.
Or there's the Withings Smart Body Analyzer. That's a long name for a set of scales, but it is a smart set of scales.
The Smart Body Analyzer will monitor your weight and body fat, and BMI, but also your heart rate and the air quality.
Like the Fitbit scales, the Withings model will support up to 8 users and all the data syncs online, so you can access it on your PC or mobile. It's a little more expensive at £129.
There's no shortage of tech to make your bathroom smart, from fixtures and fittings to handy gadgets. No longer is the bathroom simply about the porcelain: you can now dim the lights, pre-heat your shower, throw on some relaxing music and get a little tech indulgence.