Moen Bringing Amazon's Alexa Support To The U Smart Shower - CES 2018

Moen announced at this year's CES that the U by Moen smart shower system will be getting support for Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri sometime in the first half of the year. To be clear, the two assistants will not be built into the smart shower system; instead, any U by Moen units you have will be able to link up with any Alexa devices in your house via a Skill for Alexa, at least for the time being. Apple's customers, meanwhile, will have to buy Moen's newest system, since the current one lacks the MFi chip needed for Apple HomeKit support, though it's worth noting that Apple is reportedly working on making HomeKit not need the MFi chip in smart devices anymore to work with Siri, meaning that iPhone owners who already have a first-generation U by Moen may want to carefully consider whether to upgrade. The newest version will be going on sale in March, with the two-outlet variant slated to cost $1,160, while the 4-outlet version will be $2,200.

Alexa support will come to the first-generation models with an update and a linked Alexa Skill. Once it's live, you'll be able to ask Alexa to have Moen start your shower, but you won't be able to ask it to do it directly so long as the integration relies on the aforementioned Skill. Temperature controls, timers, and other functions will work along much the same lines. Details on Siri support have been a bit more sparse, but it's an easy assumption to make that things won't be much different on the Apple side of the fence. Moen didn't mention anything about adding support for the Google Assistant, so Android faithful who want voice-controlled showers will have to grab an Amazon Echo, Apple iPad, or any other device with support for either Siri or Alexa.

Your shower may be one of the last places you would think that anything app-controlled or digital may live, but the U by Moen shower system challenged that notion outright by not only being integrated into one such offering but allowing you to control the shower's functionality in full from the app. You can set the desired temperature and have the system warm up your shower, then let you know when it's ready, set a timer, or even remotely stop a linked shower that's running. All of the same functionality available in the U by Moen app will be coming to Alexa and Siri in the coming months.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]