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Kohler debuts new shower head powered by Amazon’s smart assistant

Alexa, take a shower with me! Kohler introduces the new showerhead speaker powered by Amazon’s smart assistant that allows users to listen to music, news or even a store

  • The furniture company will release a new shower head with the clever assistant of Amazon built in
  • Users can listen to music, Alexa read the news or even shop
  • They have six to seven hours of playback time and costs between $ 99 and $ 229

Kohler has announced that his customers will soon be able to talk to Alex in an unexpectedly intimate new place: the shower.

The plumbing and furniture company unveiled an update of its line of Moxie AI speakers that is now being installed in a shower head.

The new shower head costs between $ 99 and $ 229 and offers a playing time between six and seven hours.

Kohler is preparing a new shower head that is equipped with its Moxie AI speaker (pictured above) for release in 2020, giving users the opportunity to talk to Alexa.

The speaker supports the full range of Alexa options, according to Engadget, allowing users to listen to music, hear the news or order new household items from Amazon, all from the steamy boundaries of the shower.

It is part of Kohler’s ongoing efforts to turn the bathroom into a platform for smart assistants and external user control.

The company plans to release a smart mirror, the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which works with both Alexa and Google Assistant.

It has also designed the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet, with a heated seat, built-in speakers and personalized ‘cleaning and drying functions’.

All of these new smart bathroom technologies can be operated via Kohler Connect, the company’s smartphone app that allows users to adjust the water temperature and enable the shower head or bathtub faucet in advance.

With the right smart equipment, users can also make integrated mood settings for showers, adjust light levels, audio presets, temperature and steam levels, for what the company describes as a “spa-like shower experience.”

The growing range of smart bathroom products can all be controlled remotely via the Kohler Connect smartphone app (pictured above)

The growing range of smart bathroom products can all be controlled remotely via the Kohler Connect smartphone app (pictured above)

Asked in 2018 for the company’s support for smart assistants such as Alexa in a room as personal as a bathroom, CEO David Kohler emphasized the company’s respect for privacy.

“We don’t want to do technology just for novelty,” he said.

“I think because of the intimacy of the bathroom space that you want to be careful and keep your privacy, but at the same time it can be an area where you can enjoy much more convenience, because it’s a very important space for people.”

HOW DOES ALEXA WORK AND WHY ARE PEOPLE INVOLVED ABOUT PRIVACY?

HOW IT WORKS:

Every time audio is sent to the cloud, a visual indicator appears on the Echo device – a light ring on Amazon Echo turns blue or a blue bar appears on Echo Show.

Amazon also says that voice recordings are saved until a customer chooses to delete them.

The recordings are used to increase the diversity with which Alexa is trained to help clients understand better.

For example, distinguish between YouTube and U2 and use historical context, such as the Olympic Games, to know what the user is referring to.

Amazon claims that the device is not activated until the wake word is said. This can be configured as Alexa, Echo or Computer.

It also records when the microphone button is pressed manually.

PRIVACY DELIVERIES:

Amazon devices are activated earlier when they are not wanted – which means that the devices may listen.

Millions hesitate to invite the devices and their powerful microphones to their homes for fear that their conversations will be heard.

Amazon devices rely on microphones that listen to a keyword that can be accidentally activated without the owner’s knowledge.

The camera on the Echo Spot, which also acts as a ‘smart alarm’, will probably also be directed directly to the user’s bed.

The device has such advanced microphones that it can hear people from all over the room talking, even when music is playing. Fraudsters can then use this live audio feed to collect sensitive information from the device.

DISABLE ALEXA SETTINGS:

Open the Alexa app on your phone. Tap the menu button at the top left of the screen.

Select “Alexa account.” Select ‘Alexa Privacy’. Select “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”

Disable the button next to “Help develop new functions.” Disable the button next to your name under “Use messages to improve transcriptions.”

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