Modern showers have not really changed in recent years; they all use considerable amounts of water and waste even more. That’s because showers don’t reuse the water they’re delivering, instead all that water goes down the drain and into the sewerage system. It does not have to be that way however, as Hamwells is hoping to turn the industry upside down with the world’s first ‘smart shower’.
Not only does the Hamwells e-Shower work with a companion App available for iOS and Android, it is also capable of recycling the water by sucking up the liquid that would typically go down the drain, cleaning it, heating it and then redelivering it.
Hamwells revealed the e-Shower at TechCrunch Disrupt in London, with the company envisioning a future where everything is connected; from a toothbrush to a bottle of shampoo. The most important factor for the company’s chief, Rob Chömpff, however is to save people money on their water bill, while also saving the planet.
“A traditional 10-minute shower requires 100 liters of warm, clean water,” Rob told TechCrunch, noting that the e-Shower could help save 90% of the water traditionally used while having a shower, while simultaneously reducing gas or electricity bills by up to 80%.
While it may seem unhygienic to utilise the same water over and over again, the journey that each water droplet makes is an intricate one.
Each water droplet will make its way to the bottom of the shower and be collected in a shower tray that sits just above the plug hole. From there the water will run under a UV filter that should kill any bacteria or other bugs before being mixed with 1.5 litres of fresh hot water to be dispensed out of the shower head once again.
While it may seem like a simple process, it’s a technology that could change the way people shower and it even requires little in the way of maintenance. To service the shower users simply need to run a bottle of diluted vinegar through the pipes once a year to clean out any accumulated limescale, as well as rinse out the filter at the bottom of the tray every now and again.
The e-Shower will utilise each water droplet seven times before it is discarded, meaning a 10-minute shower could use as little as 10 litres of water – if the shower does reduce 90% of typical water usage. That’s just one litre per minute.
While that was the main feat on show at TechCrunch Disrupt, Hamwells kitted out its e-Shower with even more technology than a simple recycling system.
Users will also find that the whole front panel of the device doubles up as a Bluetooth speaker and even control when the shower turns on using a mobile device. That means no more waiting around for the shower to get to a set temperature. The App will also display how much water is being saved by using the e-Shower compared to a traditional shower.
The e-Shower’s enclosure fits on most current shower setups, but there may be a small problem for many consumers and that’s the price. Hamwells is hoping to sell its e-Shower for €2,950 (£2,120) which is pretty steep compared to a traditional shower; although the long-term cost-savings could make it worthwhile.