Who knew that germs were such a problem? But apparently they are, given the spate of recent touchless faucet introductions. At KBIS 2012, Moen’s MotionSense was a bright spot on the show floor, impressing many by incorporating not one, but two sensors, thus allowing to activate the kitchen faucet by moving their hands near its base or above its spout.
Earlier this year, Brizo released the Jason Wu for Brizo Odin faucet, which features both touch and touch-free operation, and Delta rolled out Touch2O.xt.
Of course, sensor faucets also save water, especially in homes where young children and the elderly can sometimes forget to turn the water off after use. And while industry experts interviewed for the April Trends column disagreed on the popularity of touchless bath faucets now and in the future, the concept seems to exhibit staying power, having spawned several models—some quite attractive—for residential use throughout the years.
A quick search through K+BB’s past product files unearthed—from 2005 to 2006—TOTO’s EcoPower sensor faucet, which runs on an electrical current generated by a water-powered turbine;
and these two Sans Hands models from Sonoma Forge, which do not have visible sensors but operate via electromagnetic sensing. As noted in the installation instructions, the spout becomes the sensor.
The newest addition to this product category—at least from what I’ve heard—is American Standard’s Moments, a 1.5-gpm single-hole model with a sensor in its base. Its Selectronic sensing zone is preset but can be adjusted manually or via remote control with the touch of a button. For those particularly water-conscious, a 0.5-gpm version is also available.
One last note about American Standard’s new touchless faucet. When I was conducting interviews for the April Trends piece, I asked Gray Uhl, design director for American Standard Brands, if the company would be introducing such a product in the near future. In response, he discussed the complications of its production: the electronics involved, the methods of powering it and adjusting temperature. He also said this: “We are working on some things out in the future. But our plan is to introduce electronic and sensors only when they really solve a problem in the home.”
So the future is now.