Paul Bailey, Senior Category Manager at GROHE, talks through unexpected areas in the home where smart technology is being integrated, and why installers need to be on top of these developments.
More and more installers are being called upon to fit smart thermostats in residential properties, but the market offers far more opportunities for plumbers and installers than just heating controls.
The modern homeowner’s desire for a connected, smart home in which various aspects of their life can be monitored, tracked, and organised via their smartphone is generating lots of sales in the kitchens and bathrooms industry too.
With such a staggering consumption of plastic on our hands, the development of filtered water taps is a much-needed solution which came about at just the right time.
They are a viable alternative for all homes, particularly for those who want to implement a more sustainable approach to water consumption, those who enjoy the taste of filtered or sparkling water, or those who are worried or dissatisfied with the quality of the tap water in their homes.
Within the premium sector of the filtered water tap market, app connectivity is the latest offering with a focus on health and convenience to entice customers. Forward-thinking brands are beginning to use app functionality to allow homeowners to track their water intake and monitor their levels of hydration, while also making purchases of new filters and CO2 at the tap of a button.
Looking ahead to the future of these products, we expect voice activation and the use of the app to operate the tap itself to come into play.
App technology in the bathroom has enabled products to deliver our individual preferences instantly, whether it’s pre-setting our shower to just the temperature and volume we like, playing our favourite music, or operating cleansing functions on a shower toilet system. This trend is driven by increasingly busy lifestyles, and the desire for an optimised user experience personalised to individual preferences.
Shower toilets are the norm in Asia and now there is an increasing demand for these hygienic toilet systems in Europe too. Shower toilets feature an integrated bidet system and use advanced technology to deliver hygiene and personalised comfort to our most intimate parts of the body through a gentle and natural cleansing process.
The real luxurious element of these systems is their smart technology offering, which enables users to personalise their cleaning routine, allowing them to adjust the water pressure and position of the spray, as well as choosing their preferred spray pattern, cleansing cycle, and temperature for both water and air. In some models, the individual settings can even be controlled and stored via an app on your phone.
Meanwhile, for those once in a lifetime dream bathroom projects where customers can afford to splash the cash, luxury shower systems use Bluetooth technology to allow the user to create a personalised at home spa experience. Alongside an oversized statement shower head, users can also benefit from sound, chromotherapy, and steam features.
Just as intelligent security alarms and cameras are emerging on the market, so too is a new area of home management; water security systems. It is worth encouraging customers to invest in a system that protects their home against the perils of water damage, which can often cost thousands of pounds in damage.
With a smart water system discreetly placed in the home, sensors in high risk places, such as under the bath, in the loft, behind appliances, and under the sink are able to detect flooding, frost risk, micro leakages, and pipe breaks, as well as track room temperature and humidity.
When any threat is detected, this is communicated via an app to allow the homeowner to act quickly. Taking this one step further, some systems can even facilitate homeowners remotely switching off their mains water supply if they are unable to attend to a leak or flood while they are away from home.
Some of the leading apps in this sector of the market will also indicate how much water a household is using and even which appliances are guzzling the most water and money. This is a preventative measure for the home which is a great way for customers to dip their toes into the world of smart home technology.
The market is developing quickly, and it’s important for installers to stay on top of new smart technology across the home, because it won’t wait for you