App- and voice-activated gizmo for the perfect bespoke shower 

Does SmarTap herald the demise of the traditional faucet? 

SmarTap, from £699
SmarTap, from £699 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

Just as I find it bizarre and almost offensive that keys – a not particularly good 4,000-year-old technology – still play a, er, key part in our homes, taps as we know them are, in my humble submission, a bit rubbish. Old-fashioned turning taps don’t bother me too much, but I really get irritated by old-school mechanisms disguised in fancy modern form – the inscrutable ones with which upmarket hotels enjoy baffling their guests. Anyway, the tap is on its none-too-soon way out if this quite brilliant shower and bath control called SmarTap is anything to go by. You just need to touch the electronic buttons to summon water manually. But that’s only part of the story.

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You can summon the water and pre-adjust the temperature and pressure from a phone app, or, even more decadently, by using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. SmarTap will learn your preferences as per usual with the new generation of AI-based (or more correctly machine learning) home aids. I find most voice-operated smartphone stuff rather silly and over-elaborate, but to be able to lie in bed and ask for the shower to come on would be life-enhancing – so long as someone hadn’t left the shower door open.

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