Standing under a relaxing stream of hot water, it can be easy to forget how long you are taking in the shower. Time becomes warped in a combination of suds and steam, making it difficult to keep tabs on how much water and electricity is being consumed. The Uji shower head lets bathers know when they are dawdling in the bathroom by using LED lights that gradually turn from green to red. Average shower time clocks in around seven minutes, giving the user about a minute to finish up and rinse off.
The Uji was invented by Tufts graduate students Brett Andler, Sam Woolf and Tyler Wilson. The team was inspired to create a device that would help conserve resources and inspire ecological awareness.
“It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers,” Brett Andler. 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.”
The Uji is priced at $50, and will save the consumer up to $85 per year after being installed. The prototype received grants from the Department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for development and is currently seeking funding for production. Big names like Symmons have shown interest, and the Uji is projected to be available for purchase by 2014.