The ‘Quantified Self’ Trend

The ‘Quantified Self’ is a trend that’s taking the bathroom industry by storm

Things are moving fast in the connected home. While it’s taken some time for brands to identify which products and innovations are the ones that are going to capture consumer imagination, the kitchen and bathroom arena is now awash with truly exciting developments.

Voice control is everywhere, but another key trend is that of the ‘quantified self’.

Self-quantifying is the act of monitoring and logging personal data with the aim of using it to improve health and well-being, and the bathroom would seem to be the main focus for product development.

Self-quantifying is the act of monitoring and logging personal data with the aim of using it to improve health and well-being. It is an important trend for the bathroom industry to understand Click To Tweet

Smart mirrors, such as the concepts showcased by Roca and Toto at this year’s ISH, are moving on from being able to provide the user with weather forecasts, news headlines and the ability to Skype. The next generation will have the capability to assess the user’s reflection in order to check for abnormalities in skin tone, and track heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature for use as part of their efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The next generation of smart mirrors will have the capability to assess the user’s reflection in order to check for abnormalities in skin tone, and track heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature Click To Tweet

The smart toilet is also presenting a wealth of new possibilities. Toto’s Flow Sky* smart toilet that measures the amount and flow rate of urine was exhibited at last year’s International Modern Hospital Show in Tokyo, with a view to being launched as a way to monitor patient health following surgery or treatment.

Duravit’s BioTracer smart toilet is currently in development – it is able to examine urine so the user is able to verify the efficiency of a fitness or diet regime. Smart toilets that are able to analyse waste so the user can self-quantify, not only to maintain well-being, but also to intercept any major diseases at an early stage, are just around the corner.

But it doesn’t stop there. At this year’s CES, Proctor & Gamble’s Oral B showcased a concept smart toothbrush, the Genius X, that will enable users to track and measure their saliva for telltale signs of changing physical health.

With all these products, consumers are set to be in possession of an enormous amount of data and how will this play out? Futurist Elena Corchero told Trend-Monitor that while consumers will collect data for their own awareness, or to share with their doctor or trainer, they might also perhaps consider selling the data as it might have value one day.

But another issue could be how all this will impact on the mental health and well-being of users and potentially play into their anxieties.

Being able to access and collect this kind of information is bound to fuel a more inward-looking mentality and the tendency to focus on ‘self’. This is something for businesses to consider when devising marketing materials, and planning future product development or ways to enhance a retail offering.

But is this a trend that is likely to stick around?

The potential that all this technical innovation has and the visibility and control it can give consumers when it comes to their physical health is clear – it can actually keep people alive for longer.

And as the driver of a trend there is surely nothing more powerful than that.

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