You can buy a 'smart' faucet—but is it worth the money?
"Alexa, turn my faucet on."
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Welcome to your 2019 kitchen. There's a smart oven, which lets you adjust the temperature and cook time from your phone. There's a smart refrigerator, which can tell you when your produce is about to go bad. There's a smart scale, which (hopefully) makes you a better baker.
And now, thanks to Kohler, there's even a smart faucet.
If you're wondering why you'd ever need a smart sink—and how it's different than a regular sink—we broke down exactly what the Kohler Sensate smart faucet is (and isn't) below. Plus, our smart home editor weighed in on whether or not the fancy faucet is worth spending the extra money.
What the smart faucet can do
The Kohler Sensate—which hooks up to the Kohler Konnect app on your phone—has a lot of cool features, but one of the best is that it's voice-activated and can be controlled via your smart home assistant. A.k.a the next time your hands are a mess and you need to wash them ASAP, you can simply say, "Turn my faucet on."
And that same voice control also lets you tell your faucet to measure out specific amounts (like 1/2 cup of water) or fill commonly-used items (like your water bottle).
What we don't love about the Kohler Sensate smart faucet
In theory, a smart faucet sounds really cool. But in practice? It has a few flaws (or at the very least, minor inconveniences). "The physical faucet handle has to be left in the 'on' position, which would be tough to manage when other people in the house absent-mindedly turn it off after use," our smart home editor, Sarah Kovac says. "And you need to move the handle anyway to adjust the water temperature."
Is the smart faucet worth buying?
Probably not—or at least not yet, Sarah says. "While the smart faucet is a very cool concept with lots of potential, I feel like this technology is a little too new to be very helpful, she explains. "It would be useful occasionally when you want it to dispense precise amounts of water, but otherwise it's probably not intuitive enough yet to really save you any time or hassle."
If you do want to equip your kitchen with the Kohler Sensate (which is compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit), it's currently available in three different finishes, ranging from about $650 to $850.