The FutureHaus bathroom, designed by Professor Joseph Wheeler and his Virginia Tech students and presented at the 2015 International Builders' Show, combines new design trends with innovations in home technology to create the bathroom of the future. In this video from BUILDER's sister publication ARCHITECT, Wheeler explains how the team seamlessly integrated accessible technology into the room's design.
Wheeler's unique "cartridge" design of factory-built kitchen and bath pods seeks to bring intuitive home automation to home spaces in a way that allows users to interact with technology without even realizing it.
In this bathroom, the glass screen of the shower, which is situated in front of the tub, becomes a projector screen and will allow homeowners to watch their favorite Netflix shows while enjoying a bath. The Amazon Echo can even change your water temperature in the shower with a voice command (thanks, Alexa). A smart mirror provides owners with a dashboard of chosen information, such as morning traffic reports or subway schedules. The smart mirror also provides data about the bathroom's performance, including everything from a user's weight from a built-in floor scale to water meters to track usage. Fingerprint recognition on the vanity will customize everything from individual vanity heights and smart mirror settings to preferred water temperatures with a single touch.
The bathroom is also planned for aging in place. The built-in floor scale can also measure impact and report to caregivers via text message if a homeowner were to slip and fall while in the room. The vanity, which can be raised or lowered based on height, can easily become wheelchair accessible by removing a lower drawer.