Advertisement permasafe
Advertisement permasafe

The Future of Smart Washrooms

 

Smart washrooms are an IoT solution that significantly improves customer experience and employee well-being while also lowering maintenance costs.

 

Filed under
Technology
 
February 8, 2022
 
Share this story
 
 
Subscribe to our newsletter
 

To receive the latest breaking news and stories in Dubai, the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.

 
The Future of Smart Washrooms
 

Technology is increasingly becoming a part of our daily lives. And, the COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the deep integration of technology in commercial facilities. The washrooms are no exception to this. Hygiene has always been a matter of great concern for the end users while they use public washroom facilities. These concerns are further deepened as a result of the raging pandemic. Smart washrooms seem to provide some relief to the end user. 

What is a smart washroom?

Smart washrooms are an IoT solution that significantly improves customer experience and employee well-being while also lowering maintenance costs.

Facility managers, in particular, love smart washrooms because they:

  • Optimize refills

No more manual records of towels and soaps. 

  • Send notifications when maintenance is needed
    There is no need for employees to check for maintenance. They get alerted as soon as supervision is required. This saves time and money!
  • Track presence
    Users end up spending less time in queues since they know when there is an unoccupied cubicle, which guarantees that all cubicles are used more or less equally.
  • Notify when bins are full

  Smart washrooms provide predictive analytics based on real-time information tracking.

They analyze a lot of statistical data that comes handy to make strategic decisions and even aids in day to day operations. They establish trends and enable pattern tracking, which allows managing equipment placing in the most convenient way. 

Smart washrooms bring smart outcomes

The pros of using smart washroom are significant. All of them significantly improve the work process and decision-making.

  • The number of complaints reduces.

javeria aijaz

Restroom users can easily feedback on any problems they spot.

Equipment is well-maintained due to real-time data usage.

A supervisor is always aware of daily, weekly, and monthly statistics concerning equipment exploitation, thus, is able to make the best decisions regarding rooms layout.

This month, we spoke to Javeria Aijaz, Senior Director – Technology & Innovations, Farnek about her opinion of smart washrooms. 

What is your opinion about smart washrooms?

At Farnek, we are proud to have launched the Middle East’s first pilot smart washroom scheme in 2019 in Dubai. The system digitally monitored the washroom, helping to revolutionise how they were monitored and cleaned with the end goal of increasing customer satisfaction and promoting cost efficiencies.  

Using a digitalised solution, we can harness big data and transform the service offering to be more customer experience-driven and cost-effective. Furthermore, we estimate manpower cost savings could top over 20% during low footfall periods. 

Through our integrated mobile app, the supervisor and the cleaner can both save time and effort by monitoring and managing several washrooms at the same time. For example, the washrooms are able to communicate if they are running out of consumable stock, require cleaning or have received critical feedback from a customer which has to be attended to. Real-time customer feedback enables the operators to instantly react to any issues. The system also easily records any maintenance issues such as blockages and can inform the relevant MEP team to fix these.

As a service provider, do you think smart washrooms are more hygienic than traditional public washrooms?

The technology behind smart washrooms contributes significantly to improving hygiene while also promoting cost benefits. For example, a dedicated people counter monitors all in and out movement; an air quality monitor identifies gasses such as ammonia, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds; while a consumables monitor measures the level of dispensers such as paper towels, toilet rolls and soap solutions. This fosters accurate predictions on stock replenishment and eliminates downtime by 100%.

Using footfall data along with customer feedback allows us to bring business intelligence to our customers and operator for manpower planning and time-based service improvement.

Using multiple sensors, we can also determine the air quality index (AQI). This allows us to determine the correlation between footfall and air quality to improve the customer experience. Imagine a washroom that never has bad odours due to coordinated air quality and air freshener management! AQI works like a thermometer that operates from zero to 500 degrees, but instead of measuring temperature, the AQI will identify any changes in the number 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, or increase the frequency of air freshener use which subsequently increases customer satisfaction.

The system also supports real-time customer feedback allowing facility managers to re-evaluate service delivery – further enhancing the customer experience

What technologies does a smart washroom rely on?

A smart washroom uses some of the most advanced and innovative technologies, IoT sensors, machine learning, AI and cloud architecture to promote air quality and monitor washroom usage and consumable levels, which helps ensure the highest customer satisfaction standards. 

Tablets are an integral part of our platform. In addition to allowing customers to provide feedback, it also helps us to digitalise our cleaning standard operating procedures (SOPs). These include automatically requesting consumables from the store when stocks are low, digitalising the cleaning checklist, and also allowing direct communication with the supervisor and command room. 

Our Integrated Supervisor app escalates in real-time any negative customer feedback, approvals and any other support requested, automating the entire process and making it easier. The customer app makes all the information visible to customers and features customer feedback, footfall data, joint audits or any emergency support incidents.

Our unique system can not only be retrofitted into an existing washroom and used within all industries; it also features several strategically located sensors, which maximise the use of IoT and identify peak times, monitor safety, and determine when a cleaner is required.

What is the future of smart washrooms?

As technology progresses, so will smart washrooms with several new technologies in design or already entering the market. Smart mirrors, for example, will display news, weather and even stream live TV. Technology is currently being developed whereby mirrors will monitor the health of users and provide updates to doctors. Flooring is being developed to identify when someone has fallen and send an alarm and toilet seats will be able to provide feedback about the user’s health including blood pressure, temperature. 

When we take some of these technologies and combine them with existing technologies such as toilets that minimize water wastage, automated lights, and sensors that identify when trash cans are full and need to be emptied, we have a much clearer vision of what the future holds. Not only a cleaner and more hygienic washroom but one that will be optimized and deliver a better customer experience.