It’s no surprise that new smart tech wellness innovations continue to invade the residential marketplace as many consumers have a heightened concern for killing germs and bacteria, especially in wet water areas like the kitchen and bathroom. A 2021 Home Upgrade study was released showing that bathrooms are one of the primary areas of the home that Americans are planning to upgrade this year, with 45 percent of homeowners polled also saying they will be upgrading their homes with smart and other tech solutions.

Given this data, it’s no wonder that home builders in the residential real estate market are looking to the latest design and accessory trends that can help them win over and ‘WOW’ homebuyers as they introduce these elements into their design plans—especially since design enhancements in the kitchen and bathroom typically sell homes.

Interestingly, while the commercial sector has been moving forward ‘full steam ahead’ with incorporating smart tech wellness designs into their properties, the residential side has been slightly slower to adopt these changes. But market insights are now demanding that the residential side play catch up as everyday home dwellers are still interested in sanitizing and cleaning at alarming rates. Moreover, the heightened interest by consumers in smart wellness solutions in 2021 is incredibly high.

And of course, we can’t leave out the fact that since many individuals were forced to become home bodies this past year, they were willing to take on some additional renovation projects at home to try to capture a more relaxing and spa-like feel with special touches like stainless steel bathroom finishes, robe hooks, and even more luxurious elements like heated towel racks. Even some homeowners recognized that including high-end finishes and smart technologies could attract buyers in the future should they decide to sell their home down the road.

So, given these insights and trends, some popular automated and/or smart tech solutions for the home market that are increasing in popularity include things like:

Touchless hand soap dispensers: While these dispensers have been popular in commercial and high-traffic spaces for years, we are now seeing growing interest in adding these to residential structures. They are a great addition to minimize the potential for guests to contract any illness while socializing in another person’s home. And they are easy to install. This smart technology is one of the simplest ways to incorporate tech solutions that make socializing a little cleaner and safer for everyone.

Heated Towel Racks w/ Smart Tech: While a heated towel rack might seem like its only use would be for the luxury of warm towels when you step out of the bath or shower; these racks are actually smart for enhancing the quality of safety and sanitation in the restroom area of your home. In fact, some of the most innovative ones in the market not only keep towels dry and clean, but they also prevent germs and bacteria from growing on towels in the first place. Consider the fact that most people use their towels multiple times before even washing them, meaning damp towels attract germs fast. But by having the right heated towel rack solution in place you can easily keep your towels hygienically dry all season long. Some of these towel racks even come with smart technology allowing you to turn the temperature up and down via remote control access.

Smart purifiers: Another concern is air quality, which has been top on the list for obvious reasons. So, before inviting guests over, many homeowners are enhancing their HVAC systems with smart upgrades, such as indoor air quality sensors and smart purifiers with adequate HEPA filtration. These upgrades improve air quality and decrease the chances of virus transmission.

Artificial intelligence for cleaning: A cleaner home contains fewer germs. Everyone knows that. But with many working-age people juggling increased workloads with caring for their families, and nobody seems to have enough time to clean and disinfect their homes adequately. Advances in artificial intelligence address this problem. We have seen AI in home cleaning for years, usually in the form of robotic vacuums. But there are many other AI applications that can result in a cleaner and safer home such as window cleaning, cleaning up pet messes, floor disinfecting, and even pool cleaning. The result is that even using these applications for some of the cleaning duties can free up time to deep clean other areas of the home and remove excess pathogens and germs.

Even before COVID, people were spending more time on personal health and wellness. And smart technology implementations were also on the rise. But the pandemic caused these two trends to converge in a massive way. And now, this focus on wellness combined with technology solutions that can enhance home life will likely shape many upcoming renovations and new home constructions. And the fact that these technologies increase safety and health, means that they will be in very high demand!

Andrew Taylor is the Managing Director of Bathroom Butler, the leading manufacturer and supplier of high-end stainless-steel bathroom accessories and heated towel racks in Southern Africa. With a career spanning over 22 years, Andrew has developed extensive experience in manufacturing with emphasis on product development, business strategy, strategic planning, supply chain and project management. Having completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Mechanical Engineering, Andrew quickly developed a passion for creating products that are not only well engineered but also beautifully made.

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