A California start-up claiming to revolutionise the shower by cutting 70% of water use with a new, high-tech showerhead has raised nearly $2m in under a week in a crowdfunding campaign.
To innovate on the showering experience, we had to look outside of the current industry and approach the engineering problems from a completely new angle– Gabriel Parisi-Amon, Nebia co-founder
Young firm Nebia hoped to raise just $100,000 to commercialise its design when it launched the Kickstarter campaign on 11 August.
But only six days in to the month-long campaign, people in the drought-hit state have splashed out with pledges worth more than $1.9m.
By atomising streams of water into millions of tiny droplets with technology drawn from aerospace and medical engineering fields, Nebia claims its showerhead increases by tenfold the surface area of water compared to a conventional showerhead.
After trying the Nebia out on more than 500 people, they say it can drench and rinse big hairy people and voluminous hairdos alike with just 30% of the water spouted by conventional showerheads.
According to the company, co-founder Carlos Gomez Andonaegui began the search for an ideal showerhead after worrying about the amount of water going down the drain at his chain of fitness clubs.
But they found that household showerhead design hadn’t evolved much for a century, so they began a technology search that lasted nearly five years.
"To innovate on the showering experience, we had to look outside of the current industry and approach the engineering problems from a completely new angle," said Gabriel Parisi-Amon, Nebia co-founder and chief technology officer, in a company video.
"The last half century of nozzle technology has completely changed what we can do with droplet sizes and distributions. However, this technology has only been applied to very specialised fields, such as rocket engines and medical devices."
The firm says the showerhead, available for shipping in May 2016, requires no plumber to attach to existing pipes.
They launched the funding campaign in the same week as the state of California announced $30m worth of financial incentives to get Californians to rip out water-guzzling lawns and old, inefficient toilets.
California is in the fourth year of an historic drought. State Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January.
Photograph: By atomising streams of water into millions of tiny droplets, Nebia claims its showerhead increases by tenfold the surface area of water (Nebia)