Everything's internet-connected these days, be it toothbrushes, thermostats, fridges, lights, CO detectors... or a shower. Yep, that's right: Moen, in partnership with GridConnect (smart home specialists), has released a smart shower, the U, which is controllable via a panel inset into the wall, or via an app on your phone.
The shower is currently being exhibited at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, and our own Zach Anderson got a look at it. Judging from the video, it seems, as you might expect, pretty upper class, and utterly ridiculous, but also kind of cool, in a futuristic way. There is a digital valve in the wall that controls a precise, thermostatic temperature gauge and the WiFi connection, which needs A/C power to run. The controller is a 5-inch, non-touch screen that lets the user set exactly what temperature they want for their shower. The shower can pause once it reaches the initial pre-set temperature, wait for you to get in, then start automatically. 12 presets, such as name, greeting, temperature, pressure, and timer are able to be tweaked and adjusted exactly for your liking. As well as the wall panel, all this can be done on a phone as well, via an app available in the Play Store. With this in mind, imagine the following: wake up at 7am for work. You turn your pre-set shower on from your bed, via phone, then trudge half asleep to the bathroom, where the shower is ready and waiting for you. You undress, get in, and it turns on automatically. After five minutes, in order to save water, the shower turns off as the timer has expired. This, dear readers, is what you must expect from 2017 - it is, after all, the future.
The U by Moen does not come cheap, however. For the two outlet system, and the panel controller, the list price is $1,160. For the more advanced, four outlet model, the price is $2,200. This would need installing as well, although it's not clear if that's included in the price, but I'm erring on the side of caution as there needs to be a lot of behind the wall work to connect it all up. The representative in Zach's video says that the shower could be installed by a 'standard plumber,' so that's good news. The app, meanwhile, will be a free download from Google Play, although I couldn't find it in the Store when I looked. If it appears, we'll let you know.
Grid Connect, a leading manufacturer of home automation products, has partnered with Moen on the first Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower that offers homeowners countless ways to create their ideal showering experience with the push of a button.
The U by Moen™ shower will be on display at CES 2017 Tech West at the Sands Expo Convention Center, ConnectSense Booth 40357, as part of the Smart Home Marketplace.
Grid Connect was tapped by Moen for its experience in the connected home market. Grid Connect delivered the core smart technology for the shower, including developing the device's firmware, providing the Wi-Fi technology, and delivering both the iOS and Android apps that allow homeowners to personalize their showering experience.
"Grid Connect was a critical strategic partner for our U by Moen shower," said John McBride, IT director at Moen. "They demonstrated their Internet of Things product experience across all facets of the project, including development capability with product firmware, cloud connectivity, mobile applications, wireless hardware and circuit design. We are glad to have found an experienced IoT development partner that we can trust."
The U by Moen shower includes a digital valve that offers precise, thermostatic temperature control. The Wi-Fi-connected digital shower controller features a five-inch, non-touch, LCD screen that provides feedback on the shower status through on-screen messaging and notifications. The color of the screen gives a visual indication of water temperature as it changes, evolving from light blue to dark blue, purple, orange and red. When the set shower temperature is reached, the screen turns white and provides an on-screen notification and tone signal. Users also can customize settings directly in the shower and save them with one of two preset buttons.
The U by Moen shower also features a smartphone app that gives users the ability to create their personalized shower experience from within the app, and to fully control the shower from their smartphones. Users can turn on the shower, change the temperature and turn outlets on and off with the push of a button. The app also allows users to create up to 12 personalized presets, including name, greeting, outlets, temperature, shower timer and notifications. It also allows users to have the shower pause at initial start-up once it reaches the pre-set temperature.
The secure smartphone app is available as a free download from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
"We love the integration of smart technology in the showering experience and are excited to partner with Moen to extend the connected home to the first smart shower," said Adam Justice, vice president of Grid Connect. "Users are able to control their shower preferences, turn the shower on to warm up from bed, and control the length of showers to preserve water."