Already, modern bathrooms are starting to look like they belong in a sci-fi movie. Thanks to new technologies, more minimalistic designs, and higher standards of health and hygiene, our bathrooms have improved significantly over the years. Where do we go from here? What will the bathroom of the future look like? And is it going to be a strictly good transformation?
The High Level: All the Basics, but Better
It’s unlikely that we’re going to see such a major revolution in bathroom technology or cultural perceptions of bathrooms that we fundamentally change how this room works or the core components of it. For example, it’s unlikely that we’ll move the toilet out of the bathroom and into a different room.
Because of this, we can speculate that the bathroom of even the most distant imaginable future is going to have all the common features of modern bathrooms, but with technological and design improvements in the following categories.
- Comfort. Most of us want to have a comfortable, potentially even luxurious experience in the bathroom, whether we’re just relieving ourselves or preparing for the workday. Even a simple technological upgrade like the introduction of a heated bidet toilet seat can radically change your bathroom experience for the better; the heated toilet seat makes it comfortable to sit down even in cold winter months, and the bidet attachment provides a far superior, more comfortable clean. Everything from softer, more absorbent mats to devices that massage us while we partake in our morning rituals are likely to emerge as options.
- Hygiene. The bathroom needs to be a hygienic, borderline sterile environment to reduce the spread of infectious illnesses and make us feel at home, so we’ll likely also see improvements to the hygiene associated with various bathroom fixtures and implements. Self-cleaning technologies are likely to be applied to everything from showers to vanities, and we’ll likely see the introduction of materials with antimicrobial properties to make the environment even cleaner.
- Efficiency. Already, we’re seeing major advancements in the field of efficiency, with fixtures and devices that use less water and electricity. With energy conservation and sustainability being top concerns for humanity at the moment, we are likely to see even further developments in this area in the coming decades.
- Entertainment. Most people don’t go to the bathroom specifically to be entertained, but it’s nice to be entertained while you’re in there. Smart mirror technology is currently available, but it’s not especially impressive to most people; at a certain point, this is going to revolutionize how we consume information and entertainment media in the bathroom.
- Data. Because data is a hot commodity in the digital age, will also see the development of bathroom technologies and apps that involve more personal data tracking. This can help you discover more about your daily habits, encourage you to optimize your routines, and provide you with recommendations on how to improve your overall quality of life.
A Selection of Possible Futures
In line with these trajectories, we can imagine a selection of possible developments in the future.
- Smart mirrors. Smart mirrors are already here, but they have a long way to go before they become adopted by the majority of households. In the not-too-distant future, we could have smart mirrors capable of fully engaging us even as we brush our teeth and put on makeup, providing us with news, recapping our schedules, and even facilitating communication with others.
- Immersive shower/bath experiences. More immersive shower and bath experiences are also on the horizon. Chromatherapy, the art of using color stimulation to elicit various physical and emotional responses, can be applied here; built-in options for aromatherapy may also be available. In any case, you’ll likely have more power to control more variables associated with the bathing experience.
- Automation. If you’ve ever struggled to get an automatic soap dispenser to recognize you in a public bathroom, you may be dubious about the value of automating various bathroom elements. However, better technologies in the future should make this streamlined, more convenient, and more consistent.
- Refined temperature controls. Itemized temperature controls could also give homeowners more direct autonomy over their own comfort in this room. For example, you can preheat the toilet seat remotely or take advantage of smart coolers that keep your skin care products at the perfect temperature.
- Analysis and recommendations. Even 15 years ago, engineers were working on toilets capable of analyzing human excrement to uncover potential health afflictions. People comfortable with this level of tenuous privacy invasion are likely in store for very personalized recommendations in the future.
A Totally Customizable Future
Whatever the future holds for bathroom technology and bathroom design, you’re going to be in a position of total control over your bathroom experience. If you want a toilet that talks to you and analyzes what you leave behind, you can have one. If you’d prefer an old-fashioned experience, you can have that too. So in a way, your bathroom of the future is totally up to you – but there are going to be a lot more possibilities than there ever were before.