Networked bathrooms

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The Hub in the Tub

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Product makers are increasingly hooking up their devices to the Internet to create new markets.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The ISH, the world’s largest trade fair for sanitation and heating, begins today in Frankfurt.
    • The U.S. firm Perseus has developed a smart mirror that displays traffic information, sends emails and shows television programs.
    • One in 12 German real-estate owners wants to modernize his or her bathroom in the next five years, according to a survey by researcher Kantar Emnid.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Welcome to the world of smart bathrooms. Source: Dornbracht

Washing, shaving, putting on make-up: Daily preening in front of the bathroom mirror not only requires a certain patience but also takes lots of time. A study showed that Americans devote an average of 38 minutes to the ritual of caring for their bodies.

But in the digitalized future, multi-taskers will be able to combine the beautiful with the useful: The U.S. start-up Perseus, for example, is already taking orders for its intelligent mirror. Because it is linked to the Internet, people can plan their day while brushing their teeth. The smart mirror displays traffic information and emails. It can even show television.

Co-founder Erik Skantze says that a few dozen orders have come from Germany, and he is still seeking a sales and distribution partner for the German market. Perseus hopes to sell 15,000 of its smart mirrors this year worldwide.

The company depends on external support in its bid to offer new features. It has provided a platform for developers to come up with new applications for the mirror, for example.

Whether mirror, bathtub or faucet, tomorrow’s bathroom will be digital. “Consumers have an enhanced need for wellness, comfort and self-care possibilities,” says Matthias Thiel from the German association for sanitation and heating (ZVSHK). “So networking will play an increasingly important role in the bathroom. The focus is not only on technology that helps to boost efficiency: “We’re also seeing a trend toward comfort.”

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