Amazon’s New $ 55 Smart Soap Dispenser: We Tried It

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CNN

When it comes to Amazon products that work with Alexa, we’ve seen smart clocks, microwaves, wall outlets, and now a smart soap dispenser.

This is helpful to an extent, but it’s also a reminder that not everything has to be smart. Let’s break down why.

The latest Alexa gadget

So what is a smart soap dispenser for? Well, it senses motion to deliver some hands-free soap, has LED dots on top that count down time, and can connect to an echo to remind you that 20 seconds is how long you should wash your hands. hands.

Our favorite thing about Amazon’s smart soap dispenser isn’t the Alexa integration or even the design – come on, it looks like a modern soap bottle – it’s the automatic soap dispenser. You hold your hand under the nozzle and the soap is dispensed. This is to offer the convenience of a public bathroom in the cleanliness of our own apartment. And whether you’re alone or in a busy household toilet, it’s nice that you don’t have to press down to pump soap.

A small motion sensor under the nozzle recognizes your palm, then the device dispenses a predetermined amount of soap based on how close your hand is. At first we held our hand pretty close and were surprised at a pea-sized amount, but holding your hand lower it will dispense more soap.

You’re probably wondering what makes this device smart, and that’s the top of its cover. It has a ring of circular white LED lights that count down to 20 seconds. This is the minimum time recommended by the CDC for washing hands. When the soap dispenser detects movement, an Echo smart speaker can play a sample of a song for 20 seconds. This works in tandem with the lights on top to make sure you wash for the right amount of time. There is also a musical note crossed by a line, which you can press to turn off the Alexa routine.

Jacob Krol / CNN

The promised magic of the Smart Soap Dispenser – the Amazon Echo integration – was not so easy to achieve. It took us about three tries for an apartment full of echoes (fourth gen echoes and dots, a 5 show, an 8 show, and a 10 show) to find the smart soap dispenser successfully. And while the Alexa app walks you through all the steps and even creates the routine, this is an extended setup for a smart device. We also found this routine difficult to trigger, and while it worked sometimes and played a track successfully, it just didn’t work the other times. Fortunately, the countdown LEDs on the top work separately and we didn’t experience any issues with those. Both times we saw the lights and heard nothing of the neighboring echo.

The really smart integration is that the smart soap dispenser can alert you when you run out of soap. It can ping you through the Alexa app or email to let you know it’s almost sold out, and you can even ask Amazon to smartly order more soap for you. You may also want to factor in how much extra soap you have on hand to fill the dispenser before you need to order more.

This feature is quite handy and Amazon actually sells the dispenser with packs of soap.

  • Method Sea Minerals Smart Soap Dispenser with 34 ounces ($ 60.98, originally $ 61.98; amazon.com)
  • Ms. Meyer’s 33oz Geranium Smart Soap Dispenser ($ 63.38; amazon.com)
  • Seventh Generation Mandarin & Grapefruit 24oz Smart Soap Dispenser ($ 73.52, originally $ 78.33; amazon.com)

It gets pricey quickly, though, and none of these sets include our favorite Tea Tree Hand Soap.

You will recharge the smart soap dispenser via a port behind a rubber door. What’s strange is that this is a Micro USB port, a port that is being phased out. Most other Amazon devices use a proprietary or USB-C outlet.

Yes, Amazon does include a Micro USB to USB-A cable in the box and you won’t need to charge it often, but that seems like an odd port choice for a smart home gadget released in 2021. The upside is that battery life is long enough; Amazon says it should last three months. We’ve had it for almost a month and haven’t seen any loss of power.

Jacob Krol / CNN

Amazon’s smart soap dispenser is a truly unique product, but ultimately a niche and expensive product – $ 54.99 for a soap dispenser is a lot of money and it doesn’t even have a really design. unique. Unless you’re an Alexa-obsessed household or just wanted a 20-second physical reminder to wash your hands, we’d finally pass this gadget.

For those who want a soap dispenser, we are looking for one that is automatic and has a refill line inside. You don’t want to be like us and fill it up just to find out that it will overflow when you put the lid on. This $ 28.48 vending machine with a viewing window to see the soap level seems like a great option.


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