Uji shower head glows furiously red when you take too long in the shower

The shower is a good place to do a lot of things: Cleaning (obviously), serious life reflections, singing, to name a few. When you’re busy doing a combination of these personal activities, it can be hard to keep track of how much time you’ve spent pruning in the water. Not to worry. That’s why the Uji shower head is there to give you a visual alert of how long you’ve been in there, and when you should start hopping out of the shower.

For about $50, users can attach the Uji shower head just like any traditional installation. When you turn the water on, the shower head glows green, giving you the go-ahead to do your thing in the shower stall. After approximately seven minutes, however, if you’re still just sitting there crying about how you haven’t tried a cronut, the Uji will gradually begin to glow red. This alert lets you know that you’ve taken long enough to get clean, and it’s time to wrap it up.

“It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers,” Brett Andler, one of the Uji’s co-inventors, told NPR. “By letting people become aware of how long they’re in the shower, we’ve actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent.”

Created by Adler and fellow Tufts University alums Sam Woolf and Tyler Wilson, the Uji light-up shower head is the result of a medical engineering class the three had taken this past spring. The team realized they wanted to develop something to tackle waste management and promote a greener lifestyle. “We wanted a product that will pay for itself really quickly and look and feel just as good as a non-eco-friendly counterpart.”

Both the Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have offered grants for the team to develop, prototype, and test the Uji. The boys are now taking their product to angel investors, hoping to get enough funding to put the Uji on the market by early 2014. This means there’s still some time left for the boys to add some features, such as letting users set their own shower time limitations, or adding a speaker component to play music or record clips of your mom yelling at you to get out of the shower. Not the most pleasant thing to hear while you’re contemplating life, but at least that’ll help the color blind.

Get our Top Stories delivered to your inbox: