The Uji energy-saving showerhead. Photo: AFP
Annoyed that your other half is forever hogging the shower but don't know how to broach the subject with tact or decorum? Well, help is at hand.
The Uji is a showerhead created by Tufts University alums Brett Andler, Sam Woolf and Tyler Wilson that starts to glow red when the user is taking too long. Like the well-publicized Nest Thermostat, the Uji is focused on helping users save water, cut utility bills and therefore help save the planet. What's more, it's a much more elegant and diplomatic solution than your partner standing in the bathroom next to you with a stopwatch in hand and a stern look on his or her face.
As well as easing marital arguments, the Uji is ideal for shared households and university dorms where consideration and financial management are just as important as strong friendships in order to guarantee domestic harmony.
At just $50, its makers claim that the Uji will pay for itself in a matter of months and that the time it takes to turn from green to red -- eight minutes -- is plenty for the average person who cares as much about the environment and domestic harmony as they do about cleanliness.
The showerhead, which is still in the development and testing stage, has already attracted interest and investment from both the US department of Energy and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and it is hoped that a consumer version will be on the market by the start of 2014. Its makers also hope that by the time it does go on sale it will also be able to play music or other sound recordings and that users will be able to customize the time it takes for the nozzle to change from green to red.