Some people may view their bathrooms as a fortress of solitude or sanctuary for soaking in a bubble bath, but that doesn’t mean Amazon doesn’t want to be there, only a whisper away. One of the latest products to include the company’s smart assistant, Alexa, is from Kohler, which added voice capability to its new Verdera mirror, just in time for the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.
For the last couple of years at CES, there have been prototypes and platforms for smart mirrors. Instead of showing you how you’d look with red hair or a new shade of eyeshadow, Kohler’s Verdera is simply harnessing Alexa to act as a smart bathroom hub. If you have smart lights in your bathroom, you can ask Alexa to turn them off without having to wander to the living room, for example. It can also play music or news, tell you the weather and traffic, and basically act like a reflective Echo while you brush your hair or floss.
If you’re saying to yourself, “What the heck is a smart bathroom?” Kohler wants to help you there, too. Alexa will eventually be able to control connected versions of its products, from toilets to tubs. Ask the mirror to set the DTV digital showering system ($3,300) to your ideal temperature, and wait for it to get steamy. (It also plays music to drown out the sounds of your morning shower arias.)
You can also keep your hands germ-free by flushing the Numi intelligent toilet ($5,625-plus) with a voice command. Or have your VibrAcoustic tub play music, then tell Alexa to drain the water when you’re all through, thanks to the Perfect Fill kit (price TBD). When these products, along with the PureWarmth toilet seat ($160) and Touchless Response toilet ($675), debut later this year, they’ll work with the Kohler Konnect app. With the heated toilet seat, for example, you’ll be able to use your phone to set preferences for heat level and duration. It can also integrate with your Nest via If This Then That technology and have the seat stay toasty when the rest of the bathroom is chilly.
As for the mirror, it has two microphones and speakers. The whole device is water-resistant, and the speakers are hermetically sealed. Its lights are voice controlled, so you can ask it to set them to “make-up mode.” The Verdera mirror will come in three sizes when it’s available in March: $999 for the 24-inch, $1,199 for 34-inch, and $1,299 for 40-inch versions.
Kohler is also introducing its connected Sensate faucet ($600 to $830) for the kitchen. You can control it either via voice or by motion activation. The neatest trick it can pull is dispensing the right amount of water for a recipe, so you can ask for 12 ounces of H2O without pulling out your measuring cup. You may think talking to your toilet is overkill, but that’s actually pretty handy.