Some Smart Shower Features Seem Outright Dumb To Me

smart showers

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for any shower device which can reduce the amount of water and energy consumed, however it doesn't necessarily take a smart shower head to save water, and some of the new 'smart' products for showers seem quite odd to me.

I get the impression that the drive toward innovative technology to produce smart homes has led to an entrepreneurial misunderstanding in many cases, and in some cases an outright marketing abuse, of the word 'smart'. I mean this both in the everyday meaning of the term and in its application to technological development benefiting the occupants of our homes.

To put it bluntly, there are a great deal of genuine smart home technologies out there, and then there are some where the term 'smart' has more to do with selling us something than it has to do with any underlying reality such as gains in efficiency, usefulness, or adding joy to our lives.

But we can't blame inventors and marketers in isolation - we need to take some of the blame ourselves. Let's be real, as consumers we often willingly confound ourselves over our wants and needs to the extent where we can justify buying almost anything to improve our homes if our neighbors will perceive our actions as improvement (for our homes to some extent, but mostly improvement in our status over theirs), or at least create our own perception of our neighbors' increased perception of us.

Does that sound like bullshit to you? It probably should, but when we're honest with ourselves it doesn't. At least we go ahead and buy dumb things regardless of any proportion of rationality.

In evidence of this argument, let me present the "Smart Shower Head" developed by Pipers International...

Smart Shower Head

That's not a description of the product, it's the name they gave to it.

Before I list any of the features, let them explain what this is in their own moving pictures, music, and lyrics (which they may not have actually listened to):

Did you hear those lyrics? They sang about life getting louder and rowdier while the marketing message talks about noise reduction, and they sang about 'life overflowing' while the product is meant to be about water conservation. But I'll stop picking on their confused marketing message and look at some of the stated features of the product:

  • Play music in the shower & chat to friends via Bluetooth
  • Answer Phone Calls
  • Removable Speaker, Slot and Twist
  • Easy DIY Installation
  • Phone not included

Oh oh oh oo-oh oh oo-oh oh, I don't want to be incomplete - it saves water too, but that's what non-smart water saving shower heads do also without charging you extra for blue tooth connectivity.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe one of the most enjoyable aspects of taking a shower (outside of cleaning yourself) is the short self indulgent opportunity for sollitude, meditation, and to just 'get away from it all'. Why the hell would you want one of the few selfish pleasures in modern life to be interrupted by phone calls, friend chat requests, or even music (which I love dearly)?

To my way of thinking the shower is one of the last remaining bastions of the self, reflection, and meditation that exist during the waking hours of the hectic modern world - in what way is it 'smart' to take any of that away?

Apparently the only thing this product leaves to yourself is the installation.

BTW - I would have given you a link to their website www.smartshowerhead.com.au but at the time of writing this it's not working (I mean their website isn't working rather than my writing - ok maybe my writing isn't working either, but at least my writing won't interrupt you in the middle of your shower unless it's SMS'd to you during an inconvenient moment after you installed the Pipers International Smart Shower Head), maybe technology isn't really their thing, but their Facebook Page is up and running.

My summary is that this is a product where, like pretty much everything, the people who comprise the potential market will make up their own minds - meanwhile there are some people out their who have spent too much on their marketing degrees and they're trying to pay off their student loans at the expense of honest inventors and what they incorrectly suspect are gullible home owners.

PS - As mortgage owners we may be the unwashed masses, but we're not as dumb as some people's marketing education loans may have been exorbitantly expensive.

PPS - If you're interested in shower heads which save water and energy without challenging your sanity (or at least your self absorbent shower time) then check out these:

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The Pros and Cons of Technology's March into our Homes
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