“Alexa, order more toilet paper.”

Lately in the office we’ve been talking about future-proofing and it’s not just us.

Future-proofing is a buzzword that’s been going around a lot and it means different things depending on your industry. For us it means designing based on anticipation of future events such as limited mobility. I think it’s been something our office has been mulling over in the back of our minds for the past couple of weeks and it tends to crop up in conversation every time we see articles about wetrooms and DocM bathrooms.  

But today it wasn’t an article on wetrooms or a DocM suite that got me thinking about future-proofing. It was a Smart Shower I’d seen could be integrated with Amazon Echo. It’s something that could actually be a great way to help keep independence for anyone with limited dexterity. Of course the world of tech didn’t stop at showers. There’s plans for Echo controlled toilets and kitchen taps and I’m sure it wont be long before you see developments of this nature in bathroom brassware.

There’s plenty of ways smart speakers could be useful in the bathroom such as providing somewhere to store any genius shower thoughts, reading to you in the bath, listening to the news and the weather forecast in your morning shower, ordering bathroom products and acting as a timer for brushing your teeth.
Whether or not the Echo would survive in wet environment without any form of casing is questionable. Equally it relies on the bathroom having an outlet or shaving point you can convert using a USB adapter.  Nevertheless, it’s an interesting talking point for where technology in the bathroom will go next. 

Especially since having the option to use smart speakers as an after measure in assisted living could be a large step forward. If someone were to slip in the shower and the emergency cord isn’t within reach having a smart speaker you can use to call for help isn’t a bad option. Smart speakers can’t call 999 for you, but you can set up an emergency contacts via amazon skills apps such as “Ask My Buddy”.

Smart Shower

Alexa in emergencies