Whatever the post-covid world looks like, most of us are going to be a little more conscious about germs, which makes Moen’s new smart faucets a perfectly timed upgrade. The latest version allows the faucets to be operated using just hand gestures, eliminating the need for a handle altogether.
Moen introduced its smart faucet last year. In addition to using a motion sensor, which let you start and stop the flow of water by simply waving your hand (or really any body part) in front of it, the faucet also (of course) had a companion app so you could control the temperature and flow rate of water from your phone. The most useful feature of last year’s U by Moen Smart Faucet was that you could use Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant to control water flow with detailed voice commands, and you could even ask for specific measurements of water at exact temperatures.
For 2022, Moen has upgraded its smart faucet’s motion controls considerably. The original version was limited to simply turning the faucet on and off at a set temperature configured in the Moen mobile app, but the new smart faucet now allows the temperature of the flowing water to be adjusted to cold or hot (also configurable to an exact temperature in the accompanying app) by swiping left or right across the motion sensor. You can swipe away from the sensor for warm water, and swiping toward the faucet turns the water off.
The voice commands have also been carried forward to the new model, allowing an Alexa or Google Assistant smart speaker to control the Moen Smart Faucet with Motion Control through voice commands that include specifying amounts in either metric or non-metric measurements, up to 15 gallons, at a specific temperature, or by simply asking for hot or cold water. For more common operations, like filling a water bottle, users can also configure presets in the Moen app that can be requested by name through a voice-activated smart assistant. And given the ongoing pandemic, Moen has also added a “wash hands” command that turns the water on, pauses the flow for 20 seconds to allow for proper hand scrubbing and to help save water, and then starts the water once again for a final rinse.
The added gesture-powered temperature controls mean that, for the first time, Moen will be offering its smart faucet in two minimalist styles that skip the handles, knobs, and motion controls altogether. It seems like the perfect option for an ultra-modern kitchen renovation if you’re willing to spend north of $US675 ($939) for sleek sink hardware, but it will potentially leave visiting guests confused as to how to get water out of it. If you live with someone who struggles to operate even a basic TV remote, a handle-less smart faucet may not be the best choice for your home.