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The Ultimate Guide to Smart Gadgets and Voice Assistants in the Bathroom

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If there’s one thing it’s impossible to ignore in 2019, it’s voice assistants and “smart” gadgets. Whether you’re asking Alexa to remind you about an appointment, or telling Siri to switch off your bedroom lights, voice assistants certainly seem like they’re here to stay. With that in mind, we at The Whirlpool Bath Shop thought it would make sense to create a guide for using these assistants – and other smart gadgets – in the bathroom. After all, if Alexa, Siri, and Google Home are helping in other rooms of the house, why not the bathroom too?

We’ll also take a look at a few other smart innovations which are ideal for the bathroom. All set? Then let’s dive in.

Installing voice assistants in the bathroom

Before we look at specific uses for voice assistants, let’s first learn about how best to install the assistant units themselves in your bathroom. Because there’s naturally going to be a lot of liquid and moisture around, it’s a good idea to know whether or not the voice assistant you have in mind is appropriate for use in the bathroom. Here’s how things shake out for the most popular smart assistants in 2019:

  • The Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are both suitable for use in the bathroom, provided you keep them away from liquid water. As per Amazon’s suggested use, however, we’d recommend that you keep the Echo in your main living area and use a Dot in the bathroom to extend the functionality.
  • You can use Apple’s Siri using your iPhone or iPad from anywhere in your house, including the bathroom. The same is true for Apple’s HomePod. In fact, if you’re using any of the more recent iPhone handsets, you’ll find they have water-resistance built right in – so even if you accidentally drop your new iPhone X underwater, you’ll still be able to grab it quickly without risk of damage.
  • The Google Home range of smart assistants are a little different due to the fact that they feature a cloth fabric over the speaker. Because of this, moisture can interfere a little more than with the other options. It’s still possible to use Google Home in the bathroom, but we’d recommend that you check with the manufacturer before installing your new assistant. Another option is to use the Google Assistant on your water-resistant Android smartphone.

Bringing music into the bathroom with smart functionality

 One of the best ways to truly unwind when you’re soaking in the tub is with your favourite music. Historically, it’s not been an easy task to make this happen (mobile phone in a glass to create a makeshift speaker, anyone?) but the age of smart devices means it’s now as easy as asking for it. Once you’ve got your smart assistant set up, you’ll be free to invest in one of the many Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker systems – like those offered by Sonos. These systems aren’t just voice assistant-enabled, they’re also totally wireless, meaning you’re able to place the speaker in the most convenient (or perhaps the driest) spot in your bathroom. From there, you simply kick back, relax, then ask Alexa to play your “Leave me alone I’m trying to take a bath” playlist on the bathroom speaker – no buttons or dials required!

 Set the perfect mood with smart lighting in the bathroom

 If you’ve not yet experienced the futuristic wonders of smart lighting, there’s no better time than now. With options like the Philips Hue range, you can control any light in your home right from your phone – or your voice assistant. All you need to do is replace the lightbulb in your bathroom with one of these smart bulbs and Bob’s your uncle – voice-controlled lights from the comfort of your bathtub! Even better, depending on the type of smart bulb you choose, you’ll be able to dim the lights or change the colour to any hue you can imagine. Many of these bulbs even come with presets to help you relax, focus, and so on. With smart lighting in the bathroom, you’re never more than a single sentence away from setting the perfect mood.

 Keep your room and water temperature in perfect balance 

 Smart central heating systems are one of the most popular additions to homes in 2019, with more and more installed each day. With options available from brands like Hive and Nest, the concept is more or less the same for both: you can control essential home heating functions from your phone and, by extension, via a smart voice assistant. The most common use for these smart systems is to control the thermostat to warm rooms, but they can also be used to turn your home’s hot water on or off whenever you need it. Thinking about having a dip in your whirlpool bath later but not sure if there’s enough hot water? A quick word to Alexa and the Hive or Nest system will be able to flick the hot water on for you wherever you are. That’s pretty darned futuristic, if you ask us!

Catch up on your favourite movies and TVs the smart way… from the tub

The core concept behind all of these smart devices really comes down to convenience, and what could be more convenient than immersing yourself in a wonderfully bubbly whirlpool bath while catching up on your favourite TV shows or seeing the latest Netflix hit film? With the right voice-enabled smart gadget, it’s possible! In this case, your best option would be a TV designed expressly for use in the bathroom – like the waterproof TVs offered by Sarason. Simply plug in an Amazon Firestick and you’ll enable full voice control via the Amazon Echo. These pluggable USB sticks are a great way to turn any TV into a smart device, but they also offer the benefit of being controllable entirely by your voice. One word to Alexa (from your comfy position in the tub) and your bathroom TV will be able to show you everything from old classics to the essential watercooler shows. 

3 essential tips for setting up a voice-controlled smart bathroom

 Before you dive in and start getting Alexa, Siri, or Google all set up in your bathroom, we’ve got three things you should consider.

  • Safety first: be sure that the location you choose for your smart assistant is far enough away from any liquid water which may splash from the bath. You also want to be 100% certain there’s no chance of the unit falling into the water. If you have any doubt, the alternative is to use a modern water-resistant smartphone instead, almost all of which have smart voice assistants built right in.
  • Before you pick a voice assistant, (and ideally you should stick to just one for sake of ease), be sure that the streaming and other smart services you use are available to control via this assistant. This is well worth doing, because some options may be available on one assistant but not another. For example, if you have an Apple Music subscription, you won’t be able to listen to it via a Google Home assistant (or not yet, at least).  
  • Be sure to test out the range of your voice assistant before you hop into the bathtub and assume it’ll work. Most of these assistants have ranges which are far larger than most bathrooms, but for those with larger spaces, it’s a potential pitfall which is well worth pointing out. You can test this out pretty simply by standing as close to your bathtub as possible (or climb in, if you fancy it), then testing the voice control. If your assistant is having a hard time hearing you, adjust the distance until it works every time.

If you’d to dip your toe into the world of smart devices in the bathroom, a great first step is to check out our range of smart bathroom products. Have a specific question? Call our team today on 0800 028 61874 to discover how easy it could be to integrate voice assistants and smart gadgets into your bathroom in no time at all.

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