High water bills getting you down? You can try knocking on the door, banging on the wall, or yelling at shower-hoggers, but they seem dead set on taking hour-long showers. The Uji is a color-changing device that uses visual cues to tell the offender when their showers have gone on a little too long.
The shower head contains lights which gradually change from green to red the longer you shower. According to the two Tufts University students who invented the device, it has been shown to cut shower time by 12 percent. Once it’s released, the Uji will cost around $50 and will pay for itself in water savings in about seven months in a home setting and just three months in a school setting where many people use the shower each day.
Because the device is still being refined, there are a few grey areas about how it will work. The current model goes completely red after seven minutes. The inventors say that future models might be adjustable, with the user being able to set their desired shower time. A number of universities have already shown interest in the Uji, but it will be a while before it is released for home users.
More from Designer Brett Andler
“Goal: Create a shower head with an LED ring that gradually changes from green to red as a users shower gets longer and less energy efficient thereby encouraging users to take shorter, more efficient showers. We’ve calculated that it will only take 7 months for a family of four using this shower head to make back their initial $50 purchase in energy savings. This recovery time is even shorter when installed in commercial showers like those found in dorm rooms across the country where more than four people will use a single shower head in any given day.”
“Result: This project is still ongoing. For the most up to date information, Contact Me. At present we’ve sold showers and data loggers to schools across the country and are in the middle of a multi-university pilot program tracking average shower time with and without Uji showers. We’ve been featured on NPR, in USA Today, Fast Company Magazine, and more; and have received funding and support from the Department of Energy, Berkley Labs, ASME, and Tufts University among others.”