VIDEO: Bathroom of the future? Inside Farnek's 'smart' washroom

FM company reveals smart technology details of the digitally connected Dubai project that it says is a Middle East first

What might 'smart' bathrooms look like?
Hotelier ME
What might 'smart' bathrooms look like?

An artificial intelligence- (AI) and internet of things (IoT)-powered smart washroom has been launched by UAE facilities management (FM) company Farnek at a popular Dubai mall, which is expected to result in manpower cost savings of 20% during periods of low footfall.

Farnek said the digitally monitored washroom uses IoT sensors, machine learning, AI, and cloud architecture.

According to the FM company, a people counter has been installed within the pilot smart washroom in the Dubai mall to monitor user movement.

Also installed is an air quality monitor to identify gases such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.

Meanwhile, a moisture detector is placed to identify floor spillages, and a consumables monitor is measuring the level of dispensers, such as paper towels, toilet rolls, and soaps.

These features are expected to drive accurate predictions on stock replenishment and procurement, eliminating downtime by 100%.

Farnek said the system can be retrofitted into washrooms, and features IoT sensors that are located “strategically to detect and identify peak times, monitor safety, and determine when a cleaner is required”.

Commenting on the system’s operations and its benefits for facility managers and asset owners, Farnek’s chief executive officer, Markus Oberlin, said: “Our pilot project installed in a major shopping mall in Dubai is already at an advanced stage, and we estimate we can make manpower cost savings of over 20% during low footfall.”

Explaining how the smart washroom’s technology components would together drive efficiencies, Oberlin continued: “Essentially, it boils down to the intrinsic correlation between footfall, air quality, and customer experience.

“Using multiple sensors, we can determine the air quality index (AQI) during periods of elevated footfall, evaluated against recognised international standards.

“AQI works like a thermometer that operates from 0-500°, but instead of measuring temperature, the AQI will identify any changes in the amount of impurities in the air. To counter any negative readings, say during peak footfall, we can adjust the airflow to ensure more fresh air is circulated, which subsequently increases the level of customer satisfaction.”

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