Would you like a house that fills your bathtub – at the precisely correct temperature – when you just tell it to? Warms your toilet seat to your preference as well? You can have it! And all it will cost you is a shit-ton of money and all the privacy you’ll ever have, ever again.
A key aspect is the inclusion of voice control, allowing for the user to operate a kitchen faucet or intelligent toilet, change the lighting in a bathroom mirror, run a shower, or automatically fill a bath to a specified depth and temperature, all through vocal commands.
While the system runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and has a greater focus on using Amazon’s Alexa for automation and commands, a number of items from within the range are also able to support Apple’s HomeKit, along with the Google Assistant. In theory, this means that some of the announced items could be automated in HomeKit scenes, or for features to be remotely triggered by Siri commands.
The main featured item in Kohler’s new product range is the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which is claimed to be an industry first with Amazon’s Alexa built into the unit. Containing dual microphones and hermetically sealed stereo speakers, the mirror offers LED lights for illuminating the user, a motion-activated wayfinding nightlight, and the ability to access thousands of Alexa skills.
That could never possibly go badly.
In Hal 9000’s defense, it only tried to murder all the humans under its care. It never did anything really sinister, like report your every word, action and bowel movement to Microsoft, Apple, Google and whatever federal agency they’re feeling friendly with today.
But carry on, America. I’m sure Total Robot Surveillance will go much better than all the other sorts have.