Amazon has quietly introduced a new Smart Soap Dispenser that works with its Alexa voice-activated assistant. Spotted by AFTVnews, the gadget includes a set of 10 LED lights that will count down as you wash your hands for the 20 seconds recommended by the CDC to keep germs and harmful bacteria away.
As an Alexa Gadget, you can also pair the Smart Soap Dispenser with a compatible Echo device to access a supporting Alexa Routine that will play your favorite song or tell you a joke or fun fact while you scrub away. That’s an optional feature and the dispenser itself doesn’t include a microphone or speaker. You also don’t need an Echo device to access its best gimmick. Depending on how far underneath the nozzle you hold your hand, the device will provide you with more or less soap from its 12-ounce reservoir. The closer you place your handle to the nozzle, the less soap it will dispense.
Outside of those features, the Smart Soap Dispenser comes with 802.11n WiFi connectivity like 2009 never came and went, and a micro-USB port (shudder) for when you need to charge the device. Amazon says the internal battery can last about three months on a single charge.
At $54.99, the Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser is significantly more expensive than many of the “dumb” automatic soap dispensers you can buy, including a lot of the ones you’ll find on Amazon’s own marketplace. It also feels like it’s a year late. Many tech companies added hand washing-related features last year, and the latest science suggests the coronavirus rarely spreads on surfaces. All the same, you can pre-order the Amazon Smart Soap Dispenser starting today, with orders expected to ship on August 4th.