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.
Top Rated Comments
Or are you going to tell me that you step into your shower, jerk the hot and cold on and then deal with either burning or freezing yourself?
In my house this would be extremely helpful since the water heater is on the opposite side of the house, and the plumbing is run in an unfinished basement with the copper pipes exposed. It takes a good 4-5 minutes before we get hot water in my shower. I don't really worry about "wasting" water though because I live in the country with a well/septic system on an aquifer. My water is pretty much 100% recycled all the time, no such thing as "wasting" water. I suppose you could argue we "waste" a little bit of electricity running the well pump and water heater though.
The way I understand it, these fancy controllers continually adjust the valves to keep the water at your set temperature. So as long as you have enough hot water the temp will be where you set it, you don't sit there continually bumping up the temperature as the hot water starts to run low like you do on a manual valve, these do that for you.
Set the temp to 90° and the shower turns on and runs until the temp gets up to 90° and then pauses the water flow. You get in and it turns back on and you have 90° water hitting you the entire time you are in the shower until you get out, no need to touch the controller/valves/anything. This is opposed to turning the shower on all the way to hot, keep checking it every couple minutes by hand until you feel it get warm enough, get in and start soaping up and realize it is starting to get too hot so you turn the temp down, keep showering for a while and then realize the hot water is starting to run low so now you've got to turn the heat back up, etc. etc.
(Obligatory pun)Also, around here we already have cloud-based showers. They're called "rain".(/Obligatory pun)
These are non starter ideas and I’m sure it must be April fools.
On another aspect, people WILL end up wasting water if they start their shower even 30 seconds earlier than they normally start it. 100s and 1000s of gallons wasted.