Amazon recently announced a smart soap dispenser, well-timed for a global populace with high awareness of germ and disease management given COVID-19. Amazon’s Smart Soap Dispenser connects to a nearby Alexa smart speaker and has a timer and LED lights to help you know if you have washed for the CDC-recommended 20 seconds. The device can also be programmed to play music on the nearest Echo speaker to help you track 20 seconds by playing from a desired playlist.
A $54 MSRP may be off-putting for some, but the price could be justified by the device’s ability to encourage good hygiene and may particularly delight parents who struggle to get children to wash thoroughly. Critics have mostly given the dispenser a thumbs up and praised it for lasting two months on a single charge.
The smart soap dispenser is one of many new home network connected devices, ranging from Wi-Fi enabled sous vide cookers to connected toothbrushes. The question, of course, is will enough consumers value connected home appliances to create sufficient market demand?
According to Interpret’s Smart Home Matrix™ consumer survey research, a number of products attract buyers primarily because of those buyers’ interest in and love of technology. “Tech enthusiasm has long been an important driver of emerging products. In order for those products to be adopted by a mass market, however, they need be seen as important aides for living among people who don’t consider themselves early adopters or tech lovers,” said Interpret Senior Vice President Stuart Sikes. “I will say, however, that a $54 soap dispenser with cool LEDs that remind me to wash for 20 seconds seems like a good value, especially with the holidays around the corner.”