Tricked out with tech, bathroom features take smart living to a whole new level

With new products joining in the high-tech industry at an exponential pace, there’s a way to boost the smart function of every room, even the bathroom. Courtesy photo

Family Features

Special to Valley News

No luxurious home upgrade is complete without the enhancements of modern technology. High-tech and intelligent devices lend ease to everyday activities and enrich homeowners’ ability to enjoy the comforts of home. With new products joining this category at an exponential pace, there’s a way to boost the smart function of every room, even the bathroom.

Environmental elements like lighting and temperature are among the first signals the brain processes when entering a new space. Aligning those nuances with individual comfort and preferences is the ultimate expression of personalization. Motion or voice control sensors make it possible to bring lights to life with next to no effort, while a smart thermostat with differentiated climate zones can adjust to meet people’s needs throughout the day, perhaps kicking up a few degrees to prevent a chill when emerging from a steamy shower.

There truly is no limit to the home features that can work harder, faster and smarter – even when it comes to the toilet. If the notion of an intelligent toilet seems extreme to the senses, that isn’t surprising.

“When Americans hear the word bidet, most have an outdated picture in their minds of a standalone fixture, but in fact, the functionality is now built into a toilet or attachable seats, and they are simple to use. Once you try one, you won’t be able to live without it,” Shane Allis, marketing director of Kohler Sanitary Products, said. “From intelligent toilets to cleansing seats that attach to existing toilets, modern day bidets are for consumers who are looking for an upgrade to their toilet routine.”

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Kohler, about two-thirds of Americans would choose a toilet that would give them a cleaner, fresher feeling, and three in five think washing with water would give them a cleaner feel than toilet paper alone.

An overall fresher feeling and features like a deodorizer, night light and heated seat have strong appeal, according to the same survey, and those features are all offered in options like the Kohler Veil, an ultimate, one-piece intelligent toilet with integrated cleansing functionality that provides optimum hygiene and individual comfort. From personal cleansing to an LED nightlight to hands-free opening, closing and flushing – all of which are easy to control on a touch-screen LCD remote control – the toilet brings unexpected options to the bathroom. Explore the available models and learn more about intelligent toilets at

Whether it’s a playlist that energizes the family for the day or soothing sounds to center them before an important meeting, a new meaning to the phrase “singing in the rain” can be acquired with a showerhead that includes a built-in wireless, removable speaker that can be synced to a smartphone music library.

When the shower goes digital, homeowners can actually bring water, steam, music and light together into one sensory experience. Beyond that, it’s even possible to configure the shower to cycle through spa programs that target different areas of the body with varied water sprays and temperatures.

A jetted tub is just the beginning when it comes to creating a spa-like atmosphere. Today’s options let homeowners trick out their tub with everything from bubbles and heat to sound and color. Advanced hydrotherapy options use air or sound to massage, soothe, invigorate or relax body and mind – all controlled at the touch of a button. Don’t forget the heated back to keep warm even longer.

If someone is blessed with a stunning view out the bathroom window or if they simply prefer the aura of natural light, they may be reluctant to hide behind heavy window treatments. Yet again, technology offers the solution. Shades powered with a remote control and even film coverings that convert from transparent to opaque with the touch of a button can give them the freedom to embrace their privacy or celebrate the sun’s rays.

The big features may deliver the “wow” factor, but little touches can add up for a big impact as well. Mirrors that recognize faces and voices to deliver customized media, such as news and music, can also be programmed to alter the temperature and lighting while conducting toiletry business. Other accessories to round out the high-tech renovation include devices such as smart scales that integrate with other devices to maximize a health and wellness routine.

With these tech upgrades and more, homeowners can turn an ordinary bathroom into an entirely new, refreshing experience.

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