It was two knocks. Not three. Not one. Two knocks to know that my shower time was done when I was growing up. I had just exceeded my Dad’s own reasonable water use doctrine. Who knows what that exact time was.
Believe it or not, showering accounts for an estimated 17 percent of all residential water use. Even if you use a WaterSense certified shower head, it still can use 2.0 gallons of water per minute. A young company from Cleveland, Ohio, is trying to knock on our door to get us to think and possibly change how long we are talking a shower.
They have a great idea. It requires no plumbing skills. No wires. No new showerhead. And no grumpy dad. Here is how it works:
- An Apple-like device called Sprāv clips directly to the supply pipe behind your existing shower head in a matter of seconds. No tools required.
- A light on it provides instant feedback with a stoplight like system of Green, Yellow, and Red. You can set up the conditions.
- Uses bluetooth to talk with your smartphone.
- Uses an open API that will allow others to add different apps to use with the data.
Ingenious. I talked with Craig Lewis, CEO of Sprāv this week to learn more.
1. How long did it take you to develop Sprāv?
The idea started from an extra credit class and we were working on it part time for a couple of years. We have made some huge progress over the last few months.
2. What was the biggest unforeseen obstacle during the development of the device?
I think the biggest unforeseen obstacle was the balance between the form factor and the function of the device. Everything is a compromise between design and performance and we feel that we have struck a good balance. This balance took some time to achieve however, and we had to choose the best features to keep from a design and engineering standpoint.
3. I love the form factor of the device. You mentioned having gone through sixteen or seventeen iterations. How important was this iteration process? What would the device have looked like if you stopped at the third iteration?
It would have been a lot larger. We initially designed a screen into the device and it hung below the shower. We got some feedback from college design competitions and learned that it would be better if the device was slimmer and more intuitive.
4. What one feature would you have liked to have included on the Sprāv that was impossible to do now?
We wanted to make the device water powered and wi-fi enabled but that would drive the cost of the device out of an acceptable range.
5. What would you say to someone on the fence about whether to give your start-up some money?
This device can pay for itself in less than a year if one person can cut their average shower by one minute. Sprav is a fun and useful device that can save households money. Sprav also has huge environmental benefits and can help people to realize the link between water consumption and energy consumption.
Now Sprāv needs our help. Yes, you can actually help these guys. They need $80,000 dollars to bring this idea to the marketplace. As of this morning, they have raised $21,768 through Kickstarter. If you have never helped with a Kickstarter project, this is a great opportunity.
Help them today. Visit their kickstarter page here.
I am curious what others think about this device.