At the recent KBIS 2022 event held in Orlando, Florida, Kohler hosted a massive, show-stopping booth featuring many high-tech and high-style showers, bidets, lighted mirrors and more. Here, Kohler gave attendees a closer look at new, wellness-focused innovations, such as the spa-like experience delivered by its new Anthem Digital Control, giving users the power to control multiple showerheads, pressure, temperature and more. With this much tech on display, it’s no wonder CEDIA recently partnered with the kitchen and bathroom brand to foster relationships between custom integrators and designers.
“In its simplicity, you can turn different outlets on and off – I have a rain head, I have a shower head, that’s how I want it to work,” he describes of the first step in the setup process for the smart showering experience. “Step two is you can change the flow, and when you have a valve like this that has two different zones – now you can unlink them and have a product in one zone medium and the other zone all the way up [in flow intensity], or you can link them and have them always be pared.”
Anthem Digital Control Ups the Spa Experience and Offers Enhanced Flexibility
As part of the full experience, the controller delivers a haptic response to users’ inputs, provides a variety of options for users to tailor make their shower experience, akin to programming lighting or music scenes through other control systems.
“You have the option of operating up to nine presets,” Sindelar says. “So if you’ve got your morning routine, your evening routine, two different people, kids, pets – you can do a preset. There are five ‘experiences’ that Kohler preprograms – you can choose one and it will run the shower heads through different pressures and temperatures. You can do the same setup on the app.”
He adds that when the system turns on it starts with a default that’s simple to activate to the user’s setting. Plus, thanks to Bluetooth support, controllers can be placed in or outside the shower, and not even necessarily right near the shower because of the remote-control capability.
According to Sindelar, the controls traditionally needed to be positioned at the valves, but in this case, the valve can be up to 30 feet away to communicate via Anthem Digital Control, driving greater flexibility in the installation.
For now, the smart home integrations on this piece of technology run through the Konnect app and enable voice activation via Alexa and Google, with ‘simple integration’ continuing to be added. No word yet on integrations with many of the prominent 3rd party control systems in smart homes.
However, for more robust smart abilities like commanding music (for its Moxie shower head and speaker incorporating Harman Kardon) and lighting simultaneously with water functions, Kohler has its DTV+ (digital thermostatic valve) option, which Sindelar does say may open up down the road to better connect with CI channel systems.