Kohler launches Kohler Konnect smart home range of iPhone-configurable bathroom and kitche...

in General Discussion
Kitchen and bathroom fixture producer Kohler has created its own smart home platform, Kohler Konnect, which allows some of its products to communicate with HomeKit and other smart home frameworks, as well as offering control via an iPhone app and through voice commands.

The new line of connected devices using Kohler Konnect mostly centers around the bathroom experience, with each including some element that users can fine tune to their preference. The Kohler Konnect companion app can be used to alter presets, such as temperatures and lighting, and in some cases, to remotely turn on elements.

A key aspect is the inclusion of voice control, allowing for the user to operate a kitchen faucet or intelligent toilet, change the lighting in a bathroom mirror, run a shower, or automatically fill a bath to a specified depth and temperature, all through vocal commands.

While the system runs on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, and has a greater focus on using Amazon's Alexa for automation and commands, a number of items from within the range are also able to support Apple's HomeKit, along with the Google Assistant. In theory, this means that some of the announced items could be automated in HomeKit scenes, or for features to be remotely triggered by Siri commands.

The main featured item in Kohler's new product range is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which is claimed to be an industry first with Amazon's Alexa built into the unit. Containing dual microphones and hermetically sealed stereo speakers, the mirror offers LED lights for illuminating the user, a motion-activated wayfinding nightlight, and the ability to access thousands of Alexa skills.

The DTV+ Showering System is a voice-controlled shower, which can be used to adjust the water temperature, control showerheads and body sprays, music, lighting, team, and shower duration. It can also be adjusted via the app, so users can arrange their ideal bathing experience that can be triggered every time they need to shower.

Two toilets have been introduced in CES< with the Numi Intelligent Toilet offering extensive personalization options for the user, ranging from ambient color lighting to heated seating and the foot warmer, and even Bluetooth connectivity for music playback. The toilet also offers voice commands, motion control, and mobile app configuration.

The other toilet, the Touchless Response, is a simpler option with a motion sensor used for touchless flushing. Both this sensor and the integral nightlight can be activated through the companion app. The PureWarmth toilet seat is a connected accessory that includes app-controlled heating and an integrated nightlight.

For baths, the PerfectFill Kit is capable of automatically filling a bath to a precise depth and temperature, saving home owners from continually checking it as the bath fills. Configurable via the app and controllable by voice commands, the kit also includes an auto-drain function for emptying the bath after it has been used.

Away from the bathroom, the Sensate Kitchen Faucet offers motion-based and vocal control for water dispensing. Commands can be used to turn the water flow on or off, or to dispense water to a measured volume, for example the vocal command "Pour eight ounces."

Kohler plans to ship the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror in March, with three options varying in size from 24 inches to 40 inches, with other products in the range expected to arrive later this year. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    Seems like a great platform for practical jokes as much as anything else.  Freaking people out with random toilet flushes.  Changing the temperature of someone else's shower.

    I can't believe they missed the obvious feature for their smart mirror: Voice controlled selfies for sexting.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    I'm a growing Homekit house, but some of this stuff just seems silly. Still One of the biggest issues I think is no Siri stand alone devices!!! There's a delayed Homepod for $350 that is focused on Music. Not voice assistance. That's it!!! Where as Google Launched with 3 devices with 3 different price points. I think Amazon is up to 7-8 different Alexa Echo devices. I have Alexa is my Ecobee 4. Alexa is getting added to all kinds of 3rd party devices. I have a Google Home Mini, at $30 at the time, why not? Where's Apple? Now for me I think the Apple Watch is a better device as it's with me and works everywhere I'm at, including outside and away from Home. These other devices don't. My Alexa only works in the Hallway, and my Google Mini only works in my master bedroom. So you have to litter your house with these things. Though they are cheap and can work with your whole family. All Apple has is a $350 device which you'll basically need to pay a monthly fee for Apple Music to really use. my Google Mini, works with Pandora. I was able to just say "Hey Google, Play Bing Crosby Christmas Music" and it did from Pandora. I don't have Google Music. It worked. The Speaker sounds just fine at lower volumes. I just wanted a little background music in my bedroom. My only real stand alone device that can talk by just saying Hey Siri, is my 12.9" iPad Pro. So I would ask Google and then Siri questions and they both really worked equally well. In fact they are both easier to use with my Ecobee 4 then Alexa which is built into it. Voice controlling these type of devices, with Alexa, well it's a why not thing to do. Amazon is doing everything they can to push this and it's working. Siri is NEVER going to be on 3rd party devices. I'm just wondering if Apple can even make a small stand alone Siri speaker for $100?!?! I'm not going to litter my house with Alexa or Google Speakers, not even Siri, but it should at least be a option for people.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    tzm41tzm41 Posts: 94member
    The ability to tell your faucet to "pour eight ounces" sounds really useful.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,249member
    The security of networks when using these WiFi and BT devices, or lack of it, leaves me skittish, along with reliability. My modest smarthome excursions are limited to Hue lights and a hot water dispenser (via T-P Link switch). 

    One of the things that really bugs me about the Echo products (I have two Dots) is Amazon's requirement that I store my WiFi password with them. And while I can add it via the Alexa setup app, I have to call them on a phone to remove it (or change it, I imagine). Amz's explanation is so that setup with Echo device is more convenient. 

    At some point Amz will experience an Alexa breach in which WiFi passwords and customer information are stolen. So I'm dragging my feet a little in the smarthome arena.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    tzm41 said:
    The ability to tell your faucet to "pour eight ounces" sounds really useful.
    Totally agree. This is probably the first feature from these smart bathroom/kitchen products being announced at CES that I thought, "that's actually a good idea."
  • Reply 6 of 10
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,635member
    Mostly silly IMO and almost definitely cost ineffective, with two exceptions:  fantastic for people who don't have full use of their hands and great for eliminating germs on toilet flush handles, although an auto flush can also be accomplished with an electric eye.   

    And as far as I can tell, environmentally bad:   all these non-electric devices now electrified and the ability to "start the shower" or "start a bath" remotely probably would result in increased water usage, although the ability for a parent to set a timer on a shower for their kids could theoretically save water.   Remote water temperature setting is also a good app if it works, although shouldn't kids learn how to set a proper temperature?

    As I posted above, all these companies think they have to participate in these voice/phone/pad controlled systems to look like they're forward thinking, but I think it's going to be a fad that passes quickly.    Back in the 1970's, I was a recording engineer and once had to produce a spot for a "talking refrigerator", which basically was a cassette deck mounted in the door (and today there's a pad mounted in a door).   That was a failure because it was a solution in search of a problem and so are most of these apps.    But I'm sure they'll do okay with some high-income homeowners who want to "show off".  

  • Reply 7 of 10
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    tzm41 said:
    The ability to tell your faucet to "pour eight ounces" sounds really useful.
    In the example shown it is useless. If you are making lemonade, you'd want to use cold water so you would be standing right there letting the water run a little bit to be colder. Better yet you should probably use the ice cold filtered water from your refrigerator. Who the hell knows how many ounces their lemonade pitcher holds anyway - no one.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    DaekwanDaekwan Posts: 174member
    tzm41 said:
    The ability to tell your faucet to "pour eight ounces" sounds really useful.
    Our new smart fridge does this.  Well it doesnt pour exactly eight ounces.  But when using the water dispenser it counts out ounces and has a been a blessing for measuring cups of water while cooking or mixing ingredients.  No more going to the cabinent to pull out measuring cups and aiming to to get it just right.  Simply take any glass put it under the water spot and press the button to start.. takes about 2 seconds to fill each ounce so its really easy to stop exactly where you want it.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    A parental remote override for the shower would save me a ton of money. None of those ridiculously long 40 minute showers for my kids anymore. I'm cutting it off at 20! They'll be lucky to get a warning. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
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