Today we hear from Tom Reynolds, chief executive at the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, as he extols the benefits of bathroom smart technology and highlights new regulations to keep it secure.

In today’s rapidly evolving world, homeowners in the UK are increasingly embracing the idea of a connected home. With the integration of smart technology, convenience and efficiency have become top priorities for those looking to enhance their living spaces.

According to a study conducted by Statista, the number of connected devices with an integrated virtual assistant (think Alexa, Echo) in UK households is 36%. The bathroom is no stranger to this technological revolution. From apps for smart mirrors and lighting to innovative smart showers, homeowners are seeking ways to make their bathroom experiences more personalised and convenient.

Smart showers have emerged as a game-changer, allowing personalised profiles and tailoring the ideal shower experience. Connected devices are not only about convenience but also about environmental responsibility. Smart toilets, for instance, can gather data via an app to show consumers their weekly water usage. This empowers users with information and could encourage them to be more aware of their water consumption.

While the benefits of connected devices in the bathroom are numerous, addressing the security issue is essential. In 2021, Which? estimated that a “home filled with smart devices could be exposed to more than 12,000 hacking or unknown scanning attacks from across the world in a single week”. Two years on, this highlights the importance of safeguarding our homes against potential breaches.

In the UK, draft regulations under the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Act 2022 (PSTIA), set to take effect in April 2024, impose stringent security requirements on manufacturers, importers, and distributors of connected products. These regulations stipulate that default passwords must either be user-defined or unique per product, users should be able to report security issues, a minimum support period must be provided, and manufacturers must provide a statement of compliance with security requirements.

As these technologies continue to evolve, members of the BMA are committed to adhering to the new regulations set forth by the PSTIA, ensuring that security remains a top priority in the connected bathroom of the future.

The connected bathroom is a shining example of how technology can make our lives more enjoyable and eco-friendly. As homeowners increasingly seek smart solutions for their living spaces, bathroom designers and architects in the UK have the opportunity to create cutting-edge, secure, and efficient environments that cater to the evolving needs and desires of their clients, with security always in mind.