Amazon has announced a new Smart Soap Dispenser that works with Alexa. All on its own, the soap dispenser has a few smart capabilities, such as guiding you through the proper amount of time to spend washing and dispensing the right amount of soap. If optionally paired with an Echo smart speaker, the soap dispenser will also launch an Alexa routine when used, which opens it up to numerous additional possibilities.
On top of the soap dispenser are 10 LEDs that light up and begin to tick off each time the dispenser is used. The last LED turns off after 20 seconds, which serves as a visual indicator of when the CDC-recommended minimum amount of time has passed for washing hands. An Echo smart speaker isn’t needed for this functionality, nor is one needed for the soap dispenser’s second trick of dispensing different quantities of soap depending on how far away a hand is placed from the nozzle. A small amount of soap will be dispensed if you place your hand close to the nozzle and more soap will be dispensed the lower down your hand is placed.
This soap dispenser functions as an Alexa Gadget, which means it can be paired to an Echo smart speaker to expand its capabilities. It does not have a microphone or speaker built-in, so it’s not an Alexa device, but, if paired with an Echo, it will appear in the Alexa app as a trigger for any Alexa routine. The soap dispenser can be set to trigger a routine each time it is used. If you happen to want to skip triggering the routine during the next use, you can press a button located on the top-center before dispensing soap.
The possibilities for what using the soap dispenser will trigger are endless. You could, for example, play music for 20 seconds to encourage young kids to wash long enough. If you have smart lights in the room that the dispenser is in, you could create an Alexa routine that turns the room’s lights off a certain amount of time after the dispenser is used. You can have Alexa tell you a joke or an interesting fact each time you use the soap dispenser. You can have the dispenser trigger all three things, any combination of them, or any number of other things that Alexa can do. The choice is yours.
The soap dispenser is powered by a rechargeable battery that Amazon says will last for 3 months between charges, which is done through a micro USB port on the back. An indicator light on top tells you when the battery is running low. It supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi, which is how it communicates to trigger Alexa routines. It is meant to be used with up to 12 oz of liquid hand soap only, so you can’t use foaming soap or hand sanitizer.
The Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser costs $54.99. For comparison, that’s almost twice the price of the top-selling “dumb” automatic soap dispenser on Amazon but pretty comparable in price to the more stylish stainless steel soap dispenser that is the second best selling on Amazon. You can pre-order Amazon’s new soap dispenser now and it will be released in just a couple of days on August 4th.