As the west coast's drought bakes into its fifth year, a small team of California-based engineers have developed a shower head that could totally change the way we consume water -- and the way we wash ourselves.
An 8-minute shower runs through about 20 gallons of water on average, according to Philip Winter and his team behind the Nebia shower head.
And since shower technology hasn't changed much in the past few years, he noticed a need to improve. "We chose showers versus other products in the home [that use water] because showers are people’s intimate emotional contact with water, where they’re least willing to make a change," Winter told The Huffington Post.
So they looked for advanced technology they could apply to shower heads and found it in rockets. What resulted was a shower head that atomizes water streams into tiny droplets (millions, they say), giving the Nebia ten times the surface water of an average shower head while only using 30 percent of the volume, according to Gabriel Parisi-Amon, Nebia's chief technology officer, in their Kickstarter video.
That means an 8-minute shower with Nebia will only use up about 6 gallons of water, which is especially good in this case, because apparently this shower head feels really nice.
Nebia boasts a "totally embracing," skin softening, hydrating experience that more than 500 testers enjoyed -- if you want to take a longer shower, it'd be great if you were using less water in the process.
Judging by their immediately-successful Kickstarter campaign -- not only did they meet their $100,000 goal almost immediately, they raised more than $3 million -- the showering public is very interested (Apple's Tim Cook and Google's Eric Schmidt have invested, as well).
Winter said they raised the money "a lot quicker than we thought," which allows them to "continue to scale it so that over the course of the time bring down the cost and make it more accessible in other parts of the country and more developing parts of the world."
The Nebia will retail at $399.
Once the shower head is succesfully launched and distributed, Winter teased other Nebia products that would conserve water elsewhere in the house, but didn't divulge specifics.
"Our immediate future plan is to make the shower head as best we can," he said. "We’ll learn things off the first product we ship and improve it, and the goal is to make it a connected device so you can plug it into other smart products in your home to track water and energy use, [eventually] transitioning into faucets that have a big enough application in the home as they do in institutions."
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