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The OaSense smart shower head uses presence-sensing detectors to conserve water

If you’ve ever felt the sting of guilt over the amount of water you waste while showering each morning, then a small startup from Oakland, California, has you covered. Launched last week via the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, the OaSense smart shower head lets you shower comfortably while actively conserving water. How does it accomplish this, you might ask? By utilizing a presence-sensing detector that pauses the flow of water when someone steps away from underneath the shower head. Step back under and the OaSense continues to douse the shower-taker with a quality stream of water. Considering millions of Americans are mired in drought-like conditions, this innovative smart shower head couldn’t have come along at a better time.

Unsurprisingly, the idea for OaSense came to creator Evan Schneider in the shower. After figuring out he didn’t always need to the water on during times in the shower, Schneider decided he would try his hand at manually turning it on and off as he saw fit. However, after painstakingly turning both knobs off, then on, then off, then on again, he knew there had to be a better way — and one that didn’t douse him in cold water each time he turned it on. Born from this revelation was the OaSense, a smart shower head that senses exactly when a shower-taker needs (comfortably warm) water.

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OaSense

“I was concerned about the drought that’s still facing California, and was determined to do something about it,” Schneider says on his Kickstarter page. “Anything, that is, but install a dreadful ‘low-flow’ shower head with lackluster water pressure. While most new shower heads focus on attempts to make low-flow bearable, I realized that there were times when I really didn’t need the water running at all.”

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One of Schneider’s biggest hurdles in creating the OaSense was in making sure properly heated water continued to flow from the device even after a pause. Knowing all too well the frigid consequences of standing under a stream of cold water, roughly 15 different prototypes of the OaSense were tested before Schneider found the perfect recipe. Not only would the shower head continuously provide warm water but it would also be easy to install, boast high-quality materials, and (above all) help conserve loads of water. Though Schneider has the idea in place, he now needs help from the public (aka the Kickstarter campaign) for the project to see the light of day.

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OaSense

“After spending countless hours and thousands of dollars refining and testing over 15 prototypes, I now believe that the product is ready for the market,” Schneider continues. “In addition to raising money for the tooling necessary to manufacture components of OaSense, I’d like to validate public interest in the product. I hope that, like me, you’ll see the value in saving water without sacrificing shower quality.”

So what about price? For the duration of the Kickstarter campaign — which has 20 days remaining as of this writing — Schneider allows early adopters to purchase an OaSense for $175 or, $40 off its future retail price. Thus far, the campaign has raised just shy of $20,000 of its lofty $75,000 goal.