On display at this week’s CES 2017 trade show in Las Vegas, Hydrao First is the stylish, fun way to help out the environment and save money on your water bills.
It’s common knowledge that choosing showers over baths is better both for the environment and our utility bills because they use less water. But, because of the way we use them, the truth is that showers can also be incredibly wasteful, with an average of 62 litres (13.6 gallons) of water going down the plughole for every eight-minute shower taken.
Ideally, we’d all switch the water off while lathering up or massaging a dollop of shampoo into our scalps — a water conservation method commonly known as the navy shower. But in reality, most of us tend to let the water run while we stand there, staring into space and pondering the meaning of life. What we need is some kind of reminder, something to snap us out of our shower-time daydreams, of just how much water, and money, we’re letting slip down the drain.
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French company Smart & Blue’s tech-addled showerhead is just that. Using an array of bright, coloured LEDs, this smart showerhead glows eco-green when the user begins their ablutions. After 20 litres/5.3 gallons of water are used, the light turns blue, then purple at the 30-litre/7.9-gallon mark, before turning an alarming red once the user has squandered more than 40 litres/10.5 gallons of precious water.
The Bluetooth-connected showerhead is on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, from where its makers have been proudly tweeting images of the finished consumer product.
— Hydrao (@Hydrao_) January 4, 2017
As well as providing a wealth of statistical data, such as the amount of water used, habits, and money saved, Hydrao’s companion smartphone app can be used to change the colours displayed by the showerhead itself and to tweak their thresholds, incentivising the user to cut their showers a little shorter and do their bit for the planet. Better yet, Hydrao can be used in conjunction with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, so tech lovers can effortlessly add it to their ever-growing arsenal of household gadgets.
Hydrao is available to pre-order online now, with the standard model retailing for US$99 and due for release in the next few months. A version that screws onto an existing showerhead, called the Hydrao Drop, will also be available later in the year for the same price.