In August of last year, the $400 Nebia shower got people — including Apple CEO Tim Cook — excited with its promise of a 70-percent reduction in the volume of water used, as compared to your average shower head. That’s incredibly impressive, but Hamwells says its e-Shower beats that by an additional 20 percent. And now, the company has raised over $1.3 million to bring this water-saving smart shower head to the masses.
While the Nebia uses aerospace-grade spray nozzles that atomize water, allowing for a smaller volume of H2O to get you just as wet, the e-Shower recycles what normally goes down the drain. The used water gets filtered and mixed in with about 1.5 liters of fresh water each minute, and that mixture gets hit with a UV light before raining down on your head again.
CEO Rob Chömpff said he was on a quest to make energy-neutral homes but found the shower to be a sticking point, since they use around 2.5 gallons (10 liters) of water per minute. “Requiring 10 liters of warm water a minute for a sustained period, the traditional shower demands huge investments in solar panels, electric boilers and the like,” he said onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt London in 2015.
The app-controlled shower can also let you stream music and let you see how much money you’re saving in both energy and water. In addition to the 90-percent water savings, the shower should also reduce your energy consumption by 80 percent, the company says.
The price of the shower, it should be noted, is extremely steep: It starts at about $3,200 (2,950 euros), but CMO Wouter Chömpff says the firm has plans to send users the equipment and do the installation for free. They’ll still have to pay for it, but they’ll share their energy and water savings with Hamwells, and over the next two to five years, the company will recoup its installation cost from those savings.
As of today, Hamwells is accepting orders from international customers, though those in the Netherlands can expect their connected shower heads sooner than their global compatriots. While the Dutch can get a new water-saving device in just two weeks, the rest of us will have to wait until the second part of 2017 to save the planet.
For customers looking to add a single unit to their home, the e-shower will cost 2,890 euros. Businesses ordering in bulk, defined by the company as over 100 units, will pay just 1,500 euros each.
Hamwells already has deals with several hotels, so you could come across them even if you don’t actually buy one yourself.
Article originally published on 12-07-2015. Updated on 10-03-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added reports of Hamwells international pre-order availability and shipment dates.