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Smart Homes: Connectivity And Electronics Enter Sanitary Installations

smart home connected kitchen

Smart homes and building automation are being discussed already for quite a while in the IoT community. Detailed concepts to save energy and make life more comfortable for the people more often find their ways into everyday life. Automated and smart heating systems or intelligent lighting to save energy cost are nothing new anymore. Such smart systems begin to enter other areas too, as we found out during the ISH trade fair, the world’s leading trade fair for bathroom experience, building services, energy, air conditioning technology and renewable energies, two weeks ago in Frankfurt/Main.

So why not start the day with a smart shower? In the future you might get up and when you enter the bathroom, the right water temperature is already set for you in the shower. From the first drop on you will be able to enjoy the morning spray. Of course, the right music and lighting scenes are activated, too. Passing by the toilette an app suggests you later in the kitchen the right breakfast since your toilet acts as fitness tracer and analysed your urine. Arrived in the kitchen, you will be able to get boiling water for your tea right from the tap. Advanced electronic safety measures ensure that no one gets scalded by the hot water. Or do you prefer fresh sparkling water? OK, just go ahead, use the tap with a kick sensor and activate it with your foot.

All these scenarios appear to be not too far away. During our ISH fair round tour in Frankfurt we found out about many applications where electronics in combination with connectivity and cloud service move in the traditional industry of sanitary. Until now mostly design and quality have been the main differentiator between the products. Infrared sensors at taps and toilettes have been the first entry to this industry. Now electronically switched water taps for boiling or fresh sparkling water have been presented.

smart home kitchen
Smart home solutions for the kitchen

Showers and toilettes will get connected to your smartphone. Some connectivity solutions even do not need batteries since they harvest power from the water flow. Showers will have various features for well-being and will make an individual showering experience. Reducing water usage is a global responsibility and sanitary fittings manufacturers offer quite some products that save water. With smart showerheads you will be able to monitor your water consumption and the energy needed to heat it in real-time. Such systems will help you to consume our elixir of life with more care and responsibility.

Innovative toilettes get intelligent and connected. It sounds weird, but they can act as fitness tracers by analysing urine. With the help of a smartphone app users can examine biological parameters, such as glucose content or pH level. Consequently, people will be able to adapt eating habits or fitness programs. At ISH it was only a concept study that was presented, but smart systems play already an important role in other healthcare applications.

smart home biotracer
Healthcare solutions like the BioTracer become increasingly important for the IoT

As mentioned above, controlling the in-house heating system via smartphone is another trend. It will change working life of sanitary engineers in the future. A similar development could be observed already for car mechanics recently – their job emerged towards a mechatronics engineer.

Connected sanitary devices are not mainstream yet. However, the ISH fair gave an outlook to the future and shows that electronics and connectivity unstoppably enters very basic industries. We can observe that new developments are already waiting in the starting blocks. Discovery kits were revealed at embedded world 2017 in Nuremberg, like the STM32F769I-DISCO kit by our manufacturing partner STMicroelectronics, that enable online or offline voice recognition.

Or we will enjoy the sensation of an ultrasonic shower like in Star Trek or we rely on cleaning features of UV-LEDs. Whatever you may imaging, reach out to us and let’s talk. We at EBV Elektronik assist you to turn it into reality. Just contact us here.

Business Development Manager IoT, UV, Home & Building at EBV. As a graduated physicist I am passionate about optoelectronics and spectroscopy on one side and deep technical and new commercial concepts beyond today’s status quo on the other side. My updates cover the latest trends and technologies in UV-LEDs, IoT, AI and smart consumer and building applications.