As more of our home appliances and electronic devices become “smart” by way of internet connectivity and wireless control, it was only a matter of time before our plumbing fixtures like toilets and faucets did, too.
Our friends at KOHLER have long been industry leaders in some of the best quality and most innovative kitchen and bathroom fitting and fixture designs, so it makes sense that they would also be leading the way in making smarter, app-controlled products for the hardest working areas of your home.
Today’s post concentrates specifically on one of KOHLER’s banner smart fixtures—the Sensate hands-free kitchen faucet with voice-activated technology. Announced at the annual consumer tech trade show, CES, this past January, (but not yet available on the market), we wanted to review the benefits this new faucet promises to deliver so you can decide if you wish to add it your personal “internet of things” at home.
Design and Specs
It’s true that you may have heard of the Sensate faucet in the past. The model name has actually been in use by KOHLER since 2013 to designate their range of touchless faucets that utilize proximity sensors to turn the water on and off. That’s right—you can just wave your hand near the faucet to stop or start water flow, which is convenient when kitchen messes become extreme or when you’re working with heavy pots of boiling water, for instance.
Excitingly, this year’s CES show in Las Vegas brought promises of a new Sensate with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit support to enable voice control capabilities through KOHLER’s proprietary KOHLER Konnect app. While the new faucet is still in pre-release (you can sign up to be notified when it goes on sale), manufacturer marketing materials promise a feature-rich fixture that takes the hands-free water control powers of the current Sensate to the next level.
The rich feature set built into the current Sensate models will carry forward into the smart versions at launch. (KOHLER also reports that they are exploring the possibility of creating a retrofit kit for current Sensate models to add voice control, but this has not yet been confirmed.) These include user-centric properties like:
- DockNetik® magnetic docking system located in the faucet’s spout, which glides smoothly in operation and securely locks the spray head into place.
- A high-arching spout that offers superior clearance for filling pots and cleaning.
- Temperature memory, which allows the faucet to be turned on and off at the temperature set during prior use.
- Dual-function pull-down spray head with touch-control that allows you to switch between streaming water flow to KOHLER’s unique Sweep® spray. Sweep spray mode creates a forceful blade of water for unmatched cleaning capability.
- Fully ADA-compliant design that is suitable for a broad range of users.
The most anticipated feature of the Sensate Touchless kitchen sink faucet with KOHLER Konnect is, of course, voice command capability. As mentioned above, it has been announced that Alexa and HomeKit support will be built in to achieve this functionality. According to KOHLER, you will be able to use simple commands to turn the water on and off, as well as dispense precisely measured amounts of water.
The new Sensate faucets will also communicate important usage data back to you through the Konnect app. While you may not have considered the usefulness of knowing whether your water use at the kitchen sink has alarmingly increased over time, this information can help you identify plumbing leaks sooner than ever before. It can also help you understand your usage and allow you to better conserve water.
Pros & Cons
Obviously, both the current Sensate faucet models and the new voice-controlled updated fixtures have a lot of benefits for a wide variety of users. Above all, they seek to make your time spent in the kitchen cooking and cleaning much more seamless and enjoyable.
Of course, these faucets will not be right for every household. For instance, if you don’t currently have a lot of other smart devices, and a high-tech home doesn’t specifically appeal to you, the added cost of the luxury Sensate faucets—MSRP for the new models will likely be in line with the approximately $800 price tag of the current versions—versus traditional kitchen faucets is likely tough to justify. Touchless control is indeed convenient, but your particular lifestyle may not make it a necessity.
Check out the Sensate Faucets and other great KOHLER fixtures at Weinstein Supply
In the Lancaster, PA area, Weinstein Supply is here to help you find the perfect plumbing fixtures and accessories for your kitchen and bathroom from KOHLER and other top manufacturers.
Make an appointment today for a concierge shopping experience with one of our highly trained retail showroom associates who can help you compare features of the Sensate faucets with other popular luxury styles. We look forward to working with you!