American appliance manufacturer Kohler is doubling down on what's shaping up to be a full-fledged smart mirror craze, having announced a new iteration of the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror earlier this week, together with the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet and PerfectFill Bath Filler, both of which support its Kohler Konnect platform. The latest additions to the company's portfolio will be showcased at the next edition of the Consumer Electronics Show which is scheduled to open its doors to the public on Tuesday, with the firm describing the new gadgets as the first-ever suite of products meant to enable truly smart bathrooms of the future which aren't just filled with Internet-connected devices but have those elements communicate with one another in an efficient manner.
"Alexa/Google, play some Janis Joplin and do something about those lights, I need to put on makeup"
The new Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror is a follow-up to the model that's already available for purchase but only works with Amazon's Alexa. The sequel provides Kohler's customers with even more options as it features Google Assistant integration, though the firm doesn't appear to be planning a device offering both; you'll have to choose which artificial intelligence companion you want to use and then pick your smart mirror based on that preference. Other than that, the Verdera Voice range is mostly uniform in terms of capabilities, with all models offering adjustable LED lights which owners can control with their voice, asking their AI assistants to adjust the intensity of the lights based on their intended use such as putting on makeup or washing one's face. Motion sensors are also part of the package and integrate with a wayfinding nightlight incorporated into the Verdera Voice lineup, whereas the mirrors themselves are also equipped with waterproof stereo speakers, meaning they're capable of operating just like a giant Google Home or Amazon Echo unit.
We heard you like speakers so we put a pair into your toilet
Omnipresent audio is one of the keywords of Kohler's latest smart home products seeing how the company even included speakers into the central piece of its new high-tech lavatory suite – the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet. This curious piece of hardware also supports personalized dryer and cleansing, can heat up its seat whenever it's asked to do so, and offers what Kohler describes as incredible water efficiency. Doubling down on that futuristic product philosophy, Kohler also equipped the Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet with multi-colored lighting and Alexa support, turning the device into quite an entertaining affair given its primary purpose.
Ultimately, Kohler wants every major element of your bathroom to be a smart speaker of its own, allowing you to easily manipulate and direct your surroundings without having to raise your voice. The rest of the company's contemporary product portfolio includes a freestanding bath and a three-piece vanity featuring smart lighting. All of its creations automatically synchronize lighting and music, with the overall package being meant to deliver a truly futuristic bathroom experience. As is the case with the Verdera Voice range, Kohler's latest solutions can be purchased in variants for both Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, though their core functionalities and designs are virtually identical. Philips Hue creator Signify is presently also collaborating with Kohler in order to ensure the company's new products work with the Hue API, meaning their lighting can also be synchronized with the rest of one's intelligent household, whereas that level of support also allows homeowners to control Philip Hue lights using the Kohler Konnect app for Android and iOS devices.
Smart mirrors on the rise
Between Kohler's latest announcements and recent reports about what other things consumers can expect at CES 2019, it appears smart mirrors are in for a rather busy year. Though the very concept is far from unprecedented, the technologies allowing for such gadgets now appear to be advanced enough to support consumer-grade intelligent mirrors that aren't only versatile and consistent but are also significantly more affordable to make. That state of affairs is also prompting some other tech companies to start exploring the segment, with Android Headlines recently discovering that's precisely what HP set out to do. Whether 2019 ends up being the year smart mirrors go mainstream remains to be seen but many pieces that could enable that trend now seem to be falling in place.