The Limits of Multifunctional Design
The Moxie by Kohler is a showerhead featuring a detachable Bluetooth speaker that magnetically pops into the center of the head. The head is available in water saving versions; either 2 or 2.5 GPM. The speaker features a built-in, lithium ion battery that recharges via a USB cable; charges last up to seven hours. The Bluetooth signal works on devices as far away as 32 ft. The speaker can be used out of the shower as well–making it the perfect portable speaker for monsoonal regions.
We love listening to music in the bathroom. The LifeEdited Apartment features an Amina Invisible speaker in the bathroom, which makes taking a shower and other personal hygienic tasks a truly luxurious experience.
But we wonder…can multifunctional design go a bit too far?
A showerhead is a terribly simple device. It is a metal fixture (hopefully) that distributes and regulates water coming from your pipes. A good one, with regular cleaning, could presumably last millennia (or at least several decades).
A Bluetooth speaker is a complex device. There is circuitry, antennae and batteries. It is also technology au currant. As great as it is, there will probably be something greater in a few years.
When a complex device is an integral part of a simple one, their lives and usefulness become intertwined. It’s like a cast iron skillet that has an 8-track player embedded in its handle. The ageless skillet would be dealt a mortal blow by its Bachman Turner Overdrive playing handle that seemed so innovative when you bought it.
Of course, you can use the showerhead or your eight-track skillet without its high-tech buddy, but might some things be better designed to do one thing well rather than screw up two things at once?
What do you think? What are the limitations of multifunctional design? What are products you know where multifunction design works? Where does it go too far? Let us know in our comments section.