Despite a series of “flukes” that caused an Amazon Alexa device tomistakenly recorda Portland, Oregon, couple’s private conversation and email the recording to a co-worker, consumers continue to grow more comfortable with voice assistants, especially Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant, reports CNBC.
Citing the Walker Sands Communications’ 2018 The Future of Retailsurvey report, CNBC further statedthat some consumers even look forward to using voice assistants in their bathrooms.
When Walker Sands surveyed 1,600 U.S. consumers, the company foundthe most common locations and uses for voice assistants unsurprising. Placed in living rooms, kitchens, or bedrooms, voice assistants were used typically for mundane functions such as time checks, fact-finding,and playing music.
A sizable number of the survey respondents wentbeyond the usual locations, however. Walker Sands found that 19 percent liked the idea of hands-free voice assistant access while they were in the shower and 13 percent “wanted more voice-controlled options for hands-free commands while on the toilet.” The responses weren’t only forward-looking; 14 percent already have voice assistant devices in their bathrooms,
Given customers’ eagerness to talk to Alexa even while on the toilet, it’s not surprising that major bathroom fixture and accessory brands Kohler and Moen have voiceassistant-enabled products on the market and in development.
Kohler’s Konnect smart home bathroom voice-enabled product suite connects the shower, bathtub, toilet, mirror, and faucet; all controlled a single mobilesmartphone app. The Konnect lineup supports Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
Kohler bathroom devices ready now or in development include: The Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, Sensate faucet, the DTV+ personalized shower, a bath with PerfectFill to draw a bath to your volume and temperature preferences, and the Numi intelligent toilet witha foot warmer, bidet, heated seat, ambient lighting, and customizedplaylist.
“Voice command in the bathroom makes sense because most of our tasks in the bathroom already utilize our hands — shaving, applying makeup, brushing hair — so having the ability to simply use our voices is an efficient and effective way to multitask,” Kohler marketing manager Nicole Allis told CNBC.
Moen’s smart home voice-enabled bathroom technology features U by Moen, an Alexa-enabled smart shower system that can control one to four shower heads. Consumers can turn on the shower, control the temperature, and manage all preferences with voice commands.
“Whether it’s connectivity with our home heating and cooling, sound or lighting systems, consumers are personalizing their spaces with smart home technologies,” Moen senior product manager Michael Poloha told CNBC. “We thought, ‘Why not give consumers connected water?’”