In a new wrinkle on the Internet of Things, you can now get a smart shower that notifies you when your water temperature is just right. All you do is preset what your favorite water temperature is and it remembers to restore it for you at the press of a button.
The U by Moen smart shower comes from North Olmsted, Ohio-based Moen, a well-known faucet brand in North America. It’s another example of big non-tech companies trying to take high-tech products to mainstream consumers. In Moen’s case, it is targeting the luxury shower market for new homes. The company showed off the shower at CES 2017, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas last week.
The idea is to create a personalized shower experience. You can create a preset temperature for up to 12 family members. You can pause the water with a push of a button and then start it again with another push. That helps with water conservation.
Through a series of valves, the shower blends the water in the right combination so that it gets as close to your preferred temperature as you want. It has a Wi-Fi connection, and you can control it from afar using an app. The shower timer can keep you on schedule, particularly if you have a tendency to linger in the shower too long.
U by Moen also has a unique encrypted key that helps protect against outside hacking. The shower cannot be remotely activated from the app when the user is not at home. The app is available on iOS and Android.
The 5-inch LCD display can display the time or the temperature. It will also change colors as the water is heating up or cooling down to your desired temperature. When it is ready, the screen will turn white and provide an on-screen notification and signal with a tone. The controller is designed to be reminiscent of high-end audio electronics, with a minimalistic rectangular form. Its metal-and-glass finish is intended to evoke a luxurious feeling so it fits in with high-end shower designs.
For user safety, the shower valve will keep temperatures between 60 degrees and 120 degrees. The U by Moen system costs about $1,225. Because the fixture requires installing a digital valve behind the wall, it’s more for new construction or a remodel than for a casual upgrade.