Smart Home

Kohler’s Sensate faucet brings voice commands to the kitchen sink – Video

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Ovens, refrigerators and microwaves have all joined the smart home.
But what about your kitchen sink cooler since a faucet is bringing that online too with voice commands for Google Assistant, Amazon Echo and Siri.
You can control the faucet with motion the physical handle or a voice assistant.
Simply ask it to turn the faucet on and off or dispense a specific measurement of water.
The faucet also works with Siri but only for on and off control.
Voice control is responsible enough but you will need to ask your assistant to ask color and that lack of native control makes this faucet feel just a bit behind the times.
There’s no temperature control via voice so the water dispenses at whatever temperature you’ve set the faucets handle.
Now those voice controlled measurements I mentioned earlier must be between eight ounces and six gallons.
And the faucet will shut off automatically after four minutes.
You can ask for water in cups, liters, ounces, milliliters, quarts, and gallons, but it’s not really that simple.
You can’t ask for fractions.
So if you need one and a half cups you have to say 12 ounces.
And that convenience factor kind of goes away when you still have to do math.
Because this faucet needs electrical power, you’ll need to physically pull the handle into the on position, then stop the water flow with your hand in order to get it ready for voice commands.
That makes sense but seems like it might be difficult in a home where multiple people use the sink every day and having to physically set it up for voice commands sort of defeats the purpose.
You can create a name presets called experiences in the kohler connect app so your faucet will dispense a set amount of water when you ask it to start that experience.
That’s useful for everyday stuff like filling a coffee pot or water pitcher.
The kohler connect app also shows your water consumption in a chart and it can alert you if the faucet sense a leak or water flow issue.
Kohler’s Sensate faucet with voice control ranges from $875 to $1100, depending on the finish you select.
While that’s expensive, it’s important to note that Kohler’s standard Sensate faucet is also within that range.
So the extra smarts don’t add much cost at all.
Motion controlled faucets aren’t a new thing.
But the voice control aspect adds a whole new way to interact with your kitchen sink.
And that feels like a real step forward for the smart home.
Imperfect as it might be today.
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