Delivering Wellness Drop by Drop!
Shower System is the pivot of the modern smart bathroom ensuring user wellness and relaxation, writes Mrinmoy Dey.
Shower systems are the heart of any bathroom. Over the years, changing lifestyles, increased consciousness of health and a craving for relaxation have prompted the change in technology and the development of showering products.
Technology is reinventing the perfect shower. The days are long gone when there was little technology in showerheads, and all they used to do is to fragment water into thousands of tiny droplets for a quick bath. A modern-day bathroom, along with many interesting technological advancements, boasts of showers that are meant to deliver a power-packed performance. Over the last few years, improvements in materials, technology and processes have enabled new, exciting, more stylish and water-efficient showering experiences.
Managing Director, Hansgrohe India
“Digitisation of the bathroom is underway, and this buzz has been around for over a decade now. However, from the Indian context and technology enhancement perspective the real progress is happening now.”
Advancement of the Shower System
“Multiple spray patterns have become the norm of the day and they have been developed from a gentle soothing to gush adrenaline infusing spray pattern. Shower System comes with inbuilt long-lasting technology ‘internal engine’ which have been developed by internal R&D team after studying the consumer behaviour and putting years of experience behind it, delivering functionality which is unmatched,” shares Gaurav Malhotra, Managing Director, Hansgrohe India.
Acknowledging the growing influence of technology in the shower system, Salil Sadanandan, President – Kohler Brand South Asia, Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa adds, “Technology has become integral to our lives. Wherever we go or whatever we do, we leverage and rely on technology, and therefore, it has made its space in shower systems too. Keeping up with the fast-growing need for technology, we have launched a breakthrough collection called ‘Anthem’. With a contemporary aesthetic, the collection represents a milestone in intuitive showering design.”
Along with this, the shape, size and functionalities of the shower have evolved too. One of the latest designs is a simple geometric design which embodies human anatomy meaning it suits the shape and size of humans. They conform to uniform design language – be it cube or round in nature with matching shower head designs and trims. This has become possible due to material usage where there is extensive use of new materials such as Graphite/ABS/ Glass besides the traditional metals.
“For us, the runaway success has been Rainfinity Shower system – they are equipped with the latest never been seen design and functionality, dual colour palette and integrated shelves for space saving. Not just that – they are safe from all age groups from adults to senior citizens – since there are no metal parts jetting out in shower pipes,” shares Malhotra.
Abhinav Khandelwal, Managing Director of FCML India which is the retailer of Italian luxury faucet and shower brand Gessi in India, adds, “Gessi showers are available with rain, cascade and mist function. One can also choose the function of the Pir sensor that automatically begins the Chromotherapy once they enter the shower area. The showers are available in 350 and 500mm size, available in round, rectangle and square shape.”
Further, the inclusion of features like aquatherapy and chromotherapy is redefining the showering experience. Spa-like experience is ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation which aspires all. “Our endeavour was to bring this experience inside home comfort and not just limit this experience to Luxury Spas. Since one size fits all concept does not work in the realms of relaxation paradigm, we developed a unique proposition which are combinations of shower systems and controls,” shares Malhotra.
He further adds, “Our solutions are bespoke where we first dwell into consumer need and then propose a combination of product solutions starting from multiple shower pattern viz Axor ShowerHeaven consisting of multiple spray pattern such as RaiSpray / PowderRain / RainFlow / MonoSpary which are then optimised with the Axor Thermostatic module select controls so that individual can set up the experience as per their comfort. This whole experience is further accentuated with Chromotherapy lights, and the mingling effect of light & water then becomes a definitive high point of home comfort.”
President – Kohler Brand South Asia, Middle East & Sub-Saharan Africa
“Technology has become integral to our lives. Keeping up with the fast-growing need for technology, we have launched a breakthrough collection called ‘Anthem’. With a contemporary aesthetic, the collection represents a milestone in intuitive showering design.”
Balancing luxury with a concern for the planet
Watering saving and increasing the comfort or relaxation quotient – these two have been the key aspects driving innovations in the modern bathrooms of today. There is a delicate balance that conscious companies in the industry must maintain.
Malhotra opines, “When it comes to water saving especially for Commercial Hospitality Projects & Residential usage alike; the discerning customers are looking for world-class experience with water saving as the underlying theme. Multiple shower patterns for a most relaxing experience with the least amount of water usage which is as low as 7/9 Ltrs/Min; we offer these aspects using Raifinity – Pulisfy Hand Showers and a host of other Hansgrohe product ranges.”
Sadanandan adds, “At Kohler, we are driven by the core belief that we are charged with leaving the planet a better place than we inherited it; the environment is core to our design thinking from our pioneering days. Water conservation and sustainability are key pillars of growth for Kohler in India. Apart from water wastage in commercial spaces, the majority of household water wastage comes from toilets, showers, and faucets. Hence, it is imperative for us to offer solutions which minimise the wastage of water in the bathroom.”
Detailing how Kohler is achieving this, Sadanandan explains, “Kohler’s Katalyst air-induction technology, maximises every water drop by infusing air into the water stream for a fuller, more powerful showering experience at one-third water consumption. We offer Showerheads and Handshower with Kohler Katalyst technology in various designs and finishes, which provides for a unique and exhilarating showering experience.”
Khandelwal shares, “The reduced-flow anti-limescale Gessi showerheads improve users’ comfort compared to regular-flow showerheads while reducing the water consumption by 40%. Its Rain function nozzles in the centre offer the most relaxing experience. The nozzles can be cleaned easily, offering the same experience for years.”
,MD, FCML India
“The reduced-flow anti-limescale Gessi showerheads improve users’ comfort compared to regular-flow showerheads while reducing the water consumption by 40%. Its Rain function nozzles in the centre offer the most relaxing experience.”
Showers are becoming Smart
The next wave of change in the showering system and the bathroom products at large are the smart solutions offering integration with IoT, voice control and sensors/gestures. In fact, the success story of luxury bathrooms during the pandemic was driven by the increased focus on the home and within that on hygiene, wellness and safety.
“In the post-Covid market scenario, we have seen a spike in demand for our range of bathtubs, steam generators, intelligent toilets and our range of touchless sensor-based products. Our luxury clientele does not compromise on wellness and hygiene, which has resulted in an increased focus on new categories and products like Kohler Konnect,” informs Sadanandan.
He further opines that these days every individual is looking for products which are smart, technology-enabled, intuitive and expressive; this applies to shower spaces as well. “The latest trend in shower systems is fulfilled through our ‘Anthem collection’. Anthem’s digital and mechanical valves offer elevated style and an intuitive interface. Acting as the control centre for up to six water outlets within the showering space, Anthem enables complete command over the temperature, volume, spray experiences, and more—along with the ability to create and save pre-sets for truly bespoke experiences.”
Talking about the growing acceptance of smart showering solutions, Malhotra opines, “Digitisation of the bathroom is underway, and this buzz has been around for over a decade now. However, from the Indian/global context and technology enhancement perspective the real progress is happening now, like in electric cars, innovation is there but they are also getting fine-tuned as consumer adoption is increasing. We are still at the infancy stage, where the industry is inventing – renovating and innovating to give the consumers best in class, safe and connected products.”
He further adds, “The bathrooms are getting smarter by the day no doubt – with Connected LED Mirrors, Gesture-Based Flushing System, Smart Toilets, and entire Showering experience connected through the app. Some of this range is already available in India – however, the complete connected products should be available in the coming 5-10 years. We, at Hansgrohe, have introduced LED Mirror & LavaPura Smart toilets as our first offering into smart bathrooms space.”
Hansgrohe’s flagship digital connected showering product RainTunes powered by Hansgrohe App has been launched in the European market. “India will have to wait a little longer as the product is getting updated as per Indian conditions. Overall huge excitement is getting built up around digital in bathroom/home space for us as well and plenty of innovations at a rapid pace are expected,” shares Malhotra.