By Robert Gryczke
There are currently several options for voice control. As well as Apple’s Siri and Google Home, Alexa (Amazon) is also creating a stir with numerous functions and skills. In future, all it will take in the smart bathroom is a statement to start running a bubble bath, preheat the loo seat and much more.
Basics: how do Alex, Siri and the rest work?
Although there is something reassuringly familiar about language assistance systems, set processes are at work in the background behind these friendly voices. And depending on the software, the assistance keeps learning new things. User interactions – queries, inputs, linking accounts (e.g. music services, social media etc.) and the inclusion of smart devices – also increase the efficiency of the language assistants. The query, “Alexa, I’d like to have a bath” results e.g. in a product search, the search for open-air baths or – yes, or your Smart Home system already includes a smart bath. In this instance, the bath will start to fill with water – at exactly the right temperature, of course, if desired.
Find out more about how language assistance systems work e.g. in the article Explaining the magic of Alexa on T3N.
KOHLER KonnectTM: smart bathroom with language assistance
The bathroom manufacturer Kohler is currently focusing closely on the area of the Smart Home. In KOHLER KonnectTM, the company now has its own system in which the toilet flush, mirror (including lighting) and the shower etc. work by language control – as well as the usual physical options, of course. The system was first introduced at the CES 2018, and it due to come onto the market this year.
The highlights are without doubt the smart toilet that pre-warms the seat and flushes at a spoken command. On the one hand, this is a pleasant luxury, but on the other it can restore to those of us with physical disabilities a little bit of quality of life. A voice command is also all it takes to run a bubble bath. The showering system can be fed with various settings. In the morning, a simple “Start my morning shower” is all it takes for the perfect start to the day. The system then provides the individual mix of hot water, steam, light and music/sounds.
Video: YouTube / KOHLER
Aroma diffuser: when the next breeze is only a word away
Aroma diffusers are currently the next big thing. The oil and fragrance carriers dissolve in mist by ultrasound, thereby radiating individual olfactory highlights. Is your smart bathroom also your feel-good oasis? Then please let it also be on the olfactory level. The search for “smart diffusers” from the well-known mail order companies should provide plenty of options. Once connect to Alexa, a language command (or a click on the app) is all it takes to activate the diffuser. Is very nice in the bathroom, but also adds a certain something to dry rooms such as offices, living rooms and so on.
MySmartMirror: DIY smart mirror – with Alexa Skill
The Kohler mirror with lighting is undoubtedly a highlight, but comes with quite a price tag – somewhere in the region of 850 euros. The kick-starter project MySmartMirror wants to give you the opportunity to build your own genuine smart mirror (see Smart Home items). At around only 170 euros, the smart mirror is certainly rather more affordable. As a special feature, project starter David Thomas has given the software an Alexa Skill. On command, your smart mirror will then display the weather, play YouTube videos, and much more. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Showering at a language command, or do you prefer a quiet bathroom? What do you think of language assistants? We look forward to your comments.