Giving Your Home a Touchless Appeal

The pandemic has certainly brought the importance of contactless methods into the spotlight, but even before that the tech world was increasingly finding ways to add touchless controls to anything that it could. Now you can fill your home with appliances and other devices that you can control without lifting a finger. From ringing the doorbell to opening the refrigerator, you will be able to do it all while saying, “Look Ma, no hands!”

Toilet: Automatic Flushing and More

KOHLER is adding to its line of smart toilets—yes it has a whole line—with the new Innate Intelligent Toilet ($3,300 in July 2021), which offers many of the company’s typical smart features at what they consider to be an entry-level price. These include an automatic open-and-close lid, deodorizer, and flusher that activates when you walk away. You can also enjoy a built-in nightlight, heated seat, an integrated bidet and warm air dryer that can be personalized to each person, and automatic UV cleaning to help reduce cleaning time and provide a more hygienic experience for multiple users.

Doorbell: Just Stand and Smile

Specifically designed in response to the pandemic, Alarm.com released its Touchless Video Doorbell. Rather than using motion detection like other smart doorbells, visitors must stand on a doormat placed at a safe distance for the rapid and accurate person detection to trigger a chime in the home, send a mobile alert to the homeowner, and start recording. The homeowner can then see and speak with the visitor through live HD video and two-way audio, unlock the door, disarm the alarm system, or turn on the porch light if they so choose.

Refrigerator: Open Sesame

The latest in LG’s line of InstaView Door-in-Door refrigerators includes interactive voice technology that will even allow you to open the doors simply by asking. You can also ask the fridge for today’s agenda or check the status of the ice and water dispensers. Speaking of the water dispenser, the new model uses UVnano technology to maintain a hygienic and germ-free water dispenser tap. And as with previous iterations, you can still get a quick view of what’s inside without opening it by just knocking twice on the door to illuminate the transparent glass.

Faucet: One Cup Please

The U by Moen Smart Kitchen Faucet ($671 and up) came out last year, but just recently Moen added a slew of additional design options to fit any home. However, the real benefit is the bevy of voice controls. You can turn the water on and off with your voice or ask for more specific tasks such as dispensing exact measurements (from one tablespoon up to 15 gallons) at the temperature you desire. The faucet also has a motion sensor to control the water with a wave of the hand, or you can always just use the handle.

Ceiling Lamp: Fall Detection

Nobi designed a smart ceiling lamp that monitors older people who live on their own. Using artificial intelligence, the lamp can detect if someone falls, ask if they are okay, and if not, contact their family, caregiver, or emergency services and automatically unlock the door when they arrive. Nobi also recognizes patterns, so if someone wakes up at an odd hour, say to go to the bathroom, it will automatically light up to guide their way. It can also detect fire, monitor air quality, and alert authorities during burglaries. It will be available later this year for $2,490, plus a monthly $19 care subscription.

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