Everyone is connected to the internet these days and—increasingly—so is every thing. The Internet of Things refers to all the thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, and other household objects that have built-in network connectivity. They’re “smart,” they learn, they track, and they can all be controlled from your internet-connected device. It’s a growing field that’s getting us closer to the smart house (and office) of science fiction.
Although this groundbreaking technology debuted in more communal spaces like the kitchen and living room, it has finally made its way to a place we all know, and a place that ICS as a janitorial service in Orange County thinks about constantly: the restroom.
The Smart Toilet
WARNING – it’s not the most glamorous topic, but your toilet can tell a lot about you. According to Wired, the smart toilet is about to be your own personal lab. A network-connected toilet could contain sensors that run the same tests various medical equipment does and send updates straight to your phone – or even your doctor.
- Analyzing the bacterial concentration of your stool could inform you of infections.
- Women could get a heads-up about pregnancies without resorting to the classic pee-on-a-stick method.
- Vomit could be monitored for nutrient and electrolyte imbalances.
- Any number of health indicators, like blood sugar to cholesterol, could be monitored to keep you healthy.
There’s a reason our doctors rely on biological excretions to judge our health. It’s the literal inside scoop. The smart toilet of the future could turn your waste into knowledge! How exciting (and gross) is that? (We’re going to skip on what this could mean for a smart office toilet.)
The Smart Mirror
The mirror of the future reflects more than just your image. It can monitor your health, track your habits, and get your day started off right.
Smart mirrors, basically oversized touchscreen tablets, are already being made by enterprising do-it-yourselfers. They can display your calendar, to-do list, weather, pictures, videos, Internet browser, and anything else your smartphone can do. It’s only a matter of time before the tech is made specifically for the mirror for enhanced capabilities.
Imagine a mirror that displays your data like the one Tom Cruise has in “Minority Report,” but yours also monitors you. You start your day like you normally would, brushing your teeth and checking news/e-mails/texts. All the while, optical and physical sensors update you on your health stats, teeth-brushing efficiency, and sleep habits.
In this office, this could mean monitoring the health of employees, providing notifications or office-wide reminders, or even monitoring attendance. With endless possibilities, vanity will no longer be the only reason to check yourself out in the mirror.
The Smart Shopper
Our restrooms are built around consumables (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, Q-Tips, medicine, etc.) that must be replaced after use. What if your restroom did the dirty work for you?
Smart refrigerators, washing machines, and even trash cans which link up to online stores already exist, so it’s not a stretch. You could set your frequency and desired products and let the smart restroom take care of itself. With the office restroom automatically stocked, you save man hours on product checking and reordering.
This technology can go even further and monitor the state of your appliances as well. That Smart Toilet may let you know when it’s due for repairs, maybe it’ll even order its own replacement parts straight from the manufacturer.
All this automation will require a bit more monitoring of your settings, network security, and bank account. Still, the exciting changes the Internet of Things can bring to the restroom shows us the future of convenient living.