One year after being announced during CES 2017, faucet brand Moen is back at CES this year with a new announcement for its "U by Moen" cloud-based, Wi-Fi enabled shower system (via CNET). The company this week revealed that the smart shower will add support for Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa AI assistants in the first half of 2018, letting you control water temperature and more with voice commands on connected smartphones and speakers.
For the HomeKit integration, you'll be able to speak to your iOS devices and begin your shower ahead of time, like saying, "Hey Siri, start my shower." If you have saved water temperature presets within the Moen app, the shower will then begin to reach your desired temperature and notify you when it's ready. Siri will only work with Moen's next-generation smart shower controllers, so anyone who purchased last year's device will have to buy the new system if they want Siri controls.
This is because the new U by Moen includes a specific MFi chip for HomeKit compatibility, despite Apple last summer updating its HomeKit specifications so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. A Moen representative told CNET: "We are launching with the Apple Authentication Coprocessor (MFI chip) in the controller to meet the current Apple HomeKit protocol that still requires the chip."
Besides Siri voice control, U by Moen's new system is visually similar to the first and connects to an iPhone app so you can set up to 12 customized settings for a shower. The in-shower "digital valve" includes a five-inch LCD screen and various buttons for manual temperature control, and still requires professional installation.
There are two different versions of the next-generation U by Moen shower system, including a two-outlet model for $1,160 and a four-outlet model for $2,200.