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High Tech Enters the Bathroom

Wi-Fi mirrors can analyze your skin, showerheads are speakers, too, and tubs fill up on command

spinner image a person holds a mobile device up in front of a bathroom setting
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Chances are good that you have quite a bit of tech around your home — including laptops, phones, smart speakers, smart TVs, tablets and even Wi-Fi-connected appliances in the kitchen and laundry room.

Next up may be your bathroom. Considering how much time we spend in that small sanctuary — more than two years’ worth of your life, according to a survey commissioned by U.K.-based bathroom supplier Bathroom Deal — technology may enhance the time you spend in the shower or tub, at the sink or on the toilet.

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From smart toothbrushes and electric flossers to self-cleaning bidets, voice-activated showers and Android-powered mirrors, many new and innovative products are available or will be soon to add comfort, convenience and cleanliness to your routine.

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The HiMirror Slide can scan your face and analyze skin issues.
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A mirror that analyzes your skin

The smart HiMirror Slide ($99) is a vanity-sized mirror that can scan your face and analyze skin issues — including dark circles, red spots, fine lines — and give you personalized tips and product recommendations.

It does this with its camera, built-in twin LED face lights and software with baked-in artificial intelligence, but it won’t replace the mirror above your sink. The mirror lets you follow along with YouTube videos, including skin cleaning or makeup tutorials. The aptly named Slide features slidable panels and a foldable stand that can be rotated between portrait and landscape view.

You can use your voice to access weather, stream music, hear the news and so on, powered by Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant.

The Hilo Mirror is an Android-powered larger smart mirror with touch that also displays content such as videos or social media feeds. It includes a motion sensor, which automatically turns it on when you approach, and has a microphone and speakers.

The 13.5-inch Hilo Light ($889) is circular. The Hilo XL ($1,590) is a rectangular 31.5-by-23.5-inch model that can be hung either horizontally or vertically. Both models include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a USB port for easy connectivity with other devices.

spinner image a person inserts a smart device into a shower head
Kohler’s Moxie is a showerhead that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, which you can remove.

Showerheads that do more

If you like singing in the shower, Kohler’s Moxie ($99) is a showerhead that doubles as a high-quality Bluetooth speaker. Simply pair your smartphone to the IPX7-rated Moxie to begin streaming audiobooks, music, podcasts or radio apps. IPX7 means it can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.

With audio by Harman Kardon, battery life tops six hours between charges. You can remove the speaker to charge up — a dock is included — or to take it with you somewhere else, such as a bedroom, to continue listening.

Moxie supports Alexa, allowing you to ask to play your favorite music, hands free, so you don't have to touch your phone with soapy hands.

A more ambitious system, Moen Smart Shower, lets you start and stop the shower and activate personalized preferences by using your voice. You could say something like “Siri, turn on my shower to 103 degrees,” or “OK, Google, start preset ‘post-workout shower,’ ” or “Alexa, turn off the shower.”

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You can also use an app or a controller mounted to the shower wall instead of voice control, plus it’s connected to other smart home devices so you can also instruct your personal assistant to control things like lighting, window blinds and so on.

Prices start at $1,600 for the two-outlet valve and controller. Showerheads are purchased separately.

For your bathroom sink, Moen also has its Moen Cia smart faucet with MotionSense Wave touchless technology (starting at $584) that lets you wave your hand in front of the sensor to start and stop the flow of water like in many public restrooms in airports, eateries and other businesses.

Luxury for the bathtub

Kohler’s PerfectFill technology will debut this year after being unveiled at CES in January. It will allow you to fill up and drain the bathtub by using your voice via a compatible Google or Alexa smart speaker.

You can specify the desired volume, like half the tub for little grandkids, and temperature. The Kohler Konnect app, along with voice support, can be used to control bath time with an option to program up to 10 different bath settings. No price has been confirmed yet.

Kohler’s Stillness Bath, which also incorporates PerfectFill technology, should also be available in 2022, the company says. Stillness Bath will combine water, light, fog and aroma to create an “at home spa-like experience.”

Bidet seats getting high-tech

Bidet seats, touted as a way to save toilet paper and clean more thoroughly, are getting high tech, too.

The Coway Bidetmega 150 ($349) replaces your existing toilet seat and features a heated seat and dryer, as well as technology that lets you customize water temperature, pressure, direction and flow. It’s available in either a round or elongated shape, but both are a multi-stage wash care system that eliminates the need for toilet paper. Along with user-friendly controls, including Braille for the visually impaired, an eco-friendly mode helps reduce energy consumption when not in use.

Bio Bidet also has a comparable-priced bidet seat ($374), the BB-1000, which features a large remote with easy-to-use buttons, as well as an adjustable heated seat, air dryer and warm water.

A more expensive solution is the Discovery DLS Bidet Seat from Bio Bidet ($899), which has a built-in ultraviolet sterilizer to automatically cleanse the nozzle after each use. Like the Coway model, it has adjustable temperature controls and a warm air dryer for a more comfortable way to wrap up your cleaning routine. The Discovery DLS’ occupancy sensor opens the lid when you get near and closes when you walk away.

spinner image a black toothbrush with additional heads in front of blue water
The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 electric toothbrush has sensors to see if you're applying too much pressure, which can wear away enamel, and its app can show you areas you're missing.

High-tech toothbrushes

The electric toothbrush, which Colgate says was first developed in 1939, has gained sensors to help you clean better.

The Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 Rechargeable Toothbrush ($279) can detect if you’re applying too much pressure. Via a companion app on a nearby smartphone or tablet, it can show you where you’re brushing and where you’re not in real time.

Five modes and three intensities let you choose your comfort level. Plus you can set goals and see a weekly progress report on your brushing habits via the app.

Along with the toothbrush, in the box you also get a charging glass, several brush heads and a travel case. An optional brush head reordering service automatically orders brush heads for you when it’s time.

For a less expensive option, Colgate's hum (from $39.99) is another smart toothbrush that connects to your smartphone so you can see where you're brushing. It has two modes and a 2-minute timer. The starter kit includes the handle, 2 AAA batteries, a carrying case and two brush heads.

The Philips Sonicare Power Flosser (from $89.99) is for those who don’t like to use dental floss.

Available in cordless and corded models, these handheld devices are equipped with a proprietary technology called Quad Stream, which is said to cover more areas of the tooth because of the four X-shaped water streams. According to the company, this high-tech device cleans up to nine times the area with up to 99.9 percent plaque removal in just 60 seconds.

The cordless model is lightweight and portable, so it’s easy to travel with, and offers USB-C charging.

AquaSonic’s Home Dental System Pro ($69.95) contains both a high-tech ultrasonic brush and a compact water flosser. Oral-B also has techy toothbrushes, including its iO Series 9 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth ($299.99).

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