All the creepy parts of The Jetsons, without the flying cars.

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.

Kohler launches Kohler Konnect smart home range of iPhone-configurable bathroom and kitchen fixtures

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.


About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to All the creepy parts of The Jetsons, without the flying cars.

  1. Mike says:

    I’m not a fan of the internet of things. While the privacy issues are a concern these risks can be minimized by not using these services. I’m more concerned that the manufacturers don’t give a rat’s ass about the vulnerability of these machines have to system failure and hacking. The more complex an item is the greater the risk of failure through accident or wrongdoing. The last thing I need is for my food in the fridge to spoil because some hacker thought it funny to change the temperature of my freezer or the fridge got fried because of a power surge caused by a lightning strike in the area. .

  2. free.and.true says:

    Right on, Mike. Heck, I’ve been living for several years now at a lower level of household tech than Joel in certain ways (though not off-grid), and I’ve come to appreciate its advantages.

    When you have no pipes at all, for instance, they can’t freeze or leak… and when you do hygiene in an 1800s manner, your nonexistent toilet or bathtub can’t rat you out for some habit a bunch of faraway SJW programmers decide is bizarre or taboo…

    Just sayin’. ;^)

  3. Doesn’t have to be a hacker.
    We did a remodel on Mom’s kitchen last year, and got a “touch activated” faucet. Theory being it’s nice to, for example, be able to just bump the faucet with your forearm to start the water without having touch the handle with your raw chicken-covered mits. Great theory. In practice, I’m over changing the batteries under the sink three or four times a year because when the batteries go, the faucet STOPS WORKING.
    I give this “trend” a couple of years before most folks decide to stop being polite to the early adopters and start asking them WTF they were thinking. Meanwhile, when we had to buy a new washing machine because our old one finally bit the dust after 25 years, the salesman told me that the “new technology” — water conserving, energy conserving, electronic everything, etc., pretty much guarantees it won’t last for more than 5 years.

  4. Andrew says:

    To anyone out there in Jerry’s predicament over replacing your washer or dryer, check out Speed Queens. Not high efficiency, so they’ll cost you about $20.00 more a year in water and electricity, but they are solid. And will last longer than 5 years. And are easy to repair. They still have models with the old rheostat controls rather than digital. Basically civilian versions of laundromat dryers.

    Stay away from anything High Efficiency, because that really means “Do something totally half-assed and almost good enough.”

    And if your washing fluid doesn’t get your clothes clean in your washing machine, try adding a little Dawn dishwashing liquid to the mix. It will help cut the grease, which will then help the washing liquid actually do its job in cleaning.

    Sorry you got screwed, Jerry. Hope it’s not too late to find a decent washer and dryer.

  5. MamaLiberty says:

    That’s why we were born with hands…

    One of the problems with this high tech stuff for ordinary things… I suspect that there will come a day when nothing else is available… or “legal.” What would it take for the “Amazon lock” to become the standard, or even mandatory?

    Nothing I own except this computer is tied to the internet. And I’m going to do everything possible to keep it that way.

To the stake with the heretic!