From a refrigerator to a light switch, voice-activated technologies are all the rage at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Ohio-based Moen jumps on board the trend, introducing the second-generation U by Moen smart shower powered by Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri voice assistants.
With this smart shower, users can command the digital assistants to open it or adjust the temperature as desired. Alexa will be activated using Amazon Echo smart speakers, while Siri can accept orders through Apple's HomeKit.
The device has customisable presets to accommodate multiple users in the app. When asking to heat the water to a specific degree, Alexa will notify a user once it is ready. Users can also program the water to turn off after a specific duration. The presets can be enabled by asking Alexa to do so.
Since this is an Alexa skill, not a native feature of the digital assistant, users will have to be precise with their commands to digest them well. For example, the assistant will not activate if addressed in this way: "Alexa, start my shower." Instead, users will really have to say: "Alexa, ask Moen to start my shower." This way, users will be led to the shower options such as presets, water temperature settings and stop or pause the shower.
Siri does the same thing using HomeKit. However, Apple's assistant will allow the smart shower to be used on any iPhone device. HomeKit will only be compatible with the new-generation smart shower.
U by Moen smart shower costs US$1,160 for the two-outlet version and US$2,200 for the four-outlet version.