By Barbara Ballinger
ATLANTA—If you’ve learned to program your DVRs and iPods, you’re in luck. Digital use is spreading throughout the home, and dozens of products on view from manufacturers at the annual National Kitchen & Bath Association’s convention here this past weekend showcased its use.
The reason? Home owners find programming makes life easier and more customized; for manufacturers, it helps them distinguish themselves in a crowded field of quality products, particularly in a down economy.
Some favorites from the show:
- Maax. The “Eterne” tub from this company’s Pearl collection features three jets and a digital switch with options for how many bubbles to relax in, a variety of air massages, and different chromatherapy and aromatherapy choices. Plus, there’s a heated backrest, so bathers will never want to leave.
- Toto. Neorest II’s latest products include a wall-hung toilet that uses less water because of its dual flush system—1.6 gallons for a full flush and 0.9 gallons for a light flush. The lid lifts as users approach. With a remote, they can select seat temperature, pressure, water intensity, a massage, deodorizing the bowl, and drying it. The toilet flushes automatically. As users walk away, the lid goes down.
- Jenn-Air. Forget cookbooks. Double wall ovens with a 7” glass touch screen with menu-driven “Culinary Center” allows home owners to find how long and at what temperature they should cook foods, according to equipment they own. The technology also provides photos on the oven of how foods will look if cooked “rare,” “medium,” and “well done,” so there’s no disappointment.
- Bosch. A line of energy-efficient induction cooktops operates with its “Auto Chef” sensor technology to provide nine programs for preparing different foods. Press a button numbered “8,” for instance, and the last batch of pancakes remains as light and golden colored as the first.
- Fagor. This Spanish company’s Energy-Star rated dishwasher has an eco-sensor to measure the amount of soil, so it uses as little water as possible to pare waste.
Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer for REALTOR® magazine.