Changes in society are also changing our living spaces. The member companies of the Blue Responsibility initiative are already preparing for the bathrooms of the future with their innovative products today, taking into account the mega trends female shift, health, silver society and sustainability.
Increasing wealth, demographic change and a change in the traditional roles in families have already been altering our society for years. This also changes the requirements and demands for our own homes, for example with regard to personal hygiene.
Female shift – the bathroom as a male domain
The mega trend “female shift” stands for women's striving for equality. This means that the role of men in the household is becoming more important. “This change within families increases the male influence on furnishings and fittings. In bathrooms, for example, this paves the way even more for digital technologies,” Volker Röttger from Geberit explains. The Smart Water Technology from Dornbracht, for example, allows precise control of the temperature and volume of water at the taps with the press of a button. Apps are already providing information and entertainment in the bathroom today. The mirror app from Burgbad projects news, videos, images, traffic information, emails or personal blood pressure readings onto the bathroom mirror using a wireless WLAN transmission system. “We are already taking products for granted which were unthinkable only five years ago. This trend will continue to develop at an incredible speed,” Dirk Thielker from Viega explains. Clever choreographies of light, fog and scent in the shower or audio systems that are fully integrated into the bathtub are only a few examples of technical progress in bathrooms. “Our audio system receives data via Bluetooth. The sound cannot only be heard, but also felt as a soft vibration through the bath water,” Marcus Möllers from Kaldewei explains.
Innovative materials also offer increasingly more options: the self-healing countertop from Burgbad, for example, made from new nanotech material. Small scratches and dents can literally be ironed out. “A short thermal treatment with a clothes iron and a damp cloth is all it takes,” Sabine Meissner from Burgbad confirms. The heat liquefies the resin molecules in the board, filling the scratches.
Sanus per aquam – bathrooms as a health centre
Against the background of increasing prosperity and an ageing society, the focus on health is increasing. “Not only physical health, but also mental and psychological well-being are becoming more important,” says Volker Röttger. “The bathroom as a place of well-being and relaxation will play an increasingly important role in the regeneration of body and mind in future.” Wellness applications are becoming more and more popular. One example is the shower toilet from Geberit which cleans gently after using the toilet. Hydro applications are also becoming increasingly popular, such as extending nozzles for sink or shower from Dornbracht. A special system from Kaldewei uses microfine air bubbles to produce a soothing effect in the bathtub, while the added oxygen achieves an anti-ageing effect at the same time. The Klima-Meter from Oventrop ensures the right room climate, displaying the current room temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide values and supporting effective ventilation.
Silver society – the flexible bathroom for all generations
Bathroom concepts are adapted to the changing requirements of users to ensure that they can live in their own homes as long as possible. These systems are often invisible or feature a particularly attractive design, e.g. floor level showers which allow access without barriers. The height adjustable elements from Viega adapt to children as well as to elderly people at the press of a button. A remote control for toilet flushing provides additional comfort: the Geberit flush actuation via compressed air can be positioned at a distance of up to 1.7 m from the toilet rather than behind the user's back.
Sustainable enjoyment with the bathroom of the future
The increasing awareness for more sustainability leads to an increased demand for products which balance ecological, economic and social aspects. “We are experimenting with furniture made of bamboo, for example. This is a fast growing raw material and also provides a very special look,” Sabine Meissner explains. The German quality manufacturers are continuously optimising their production processes and transport routes to support increased sustainability. “The bathroom of the future flexibly adapts to user requirements, is gentle on the environment and supports health and personal comfort,” says Wolfgang Burchard, spokesman for Blue Responsibility.