SmartFaucet Recognizes Your Face, Protects You From the Horrors of Unpredictable Water TemperatureS

Using facial recognition technology, the SmartFaucet is able to identify incoming hand-washers and adjust the temperature and rate of flow to their specific preferences. It's also networked, and has a touchscreen. Really!

That tiny panel above the spout is actually an interface for something like a sink-Chumby, which places email, weather and calendars apps on your faucet. Despite coming across as a little flimsy and unresponsive in the video below, the faucet has a certain 1994-film-adaptation-of-Ri¢hie-Ri¢h-starring-Macaulay-Culkin kind of appeal, which is to say, it's just about the most ostentatious bathroom fixture you could possibly own.

But I forsee problems. Having an LCD panel next to flowing water seems like a bad enough idea, but requiring that users control the sink's functions through a touchscreen at the one time when their hands are guaranteed to be wet is a worse one. And of course, before long that screen will look scummier than my flat's bathroom mirror after a few weeks without cleaning, accumulating layer upon layer of mystery residue until it's too gross to touch.

What you see here is just a prototype, but iHouse does actually intend for this product—and others, like a facial-recognition thermostat—to come to market. [iHouse via BornRich]