What’s the best way to keep on top of our water consumption? Appeal to people’s competitive nature – we all have one. Shower With Friends is a hardware hack and mobile app combo which does just that, by monitoring how much water you use in the shower each day and posting this information to your friends. The idea is that you then challenge each other to take the shortest shower possible, saving water in the process.
According to the Shower With Friends team (a group of Mashery engineers), a typical shower lasts around ten minutes and can use up to fifty gallons of water – over the course of a year, that could fill five swimming pools. However, by reducing your shower time by three minutes, you could consume 30% less water and save hundreds in annual utility bills.
The best way to go about and changing behaviour, they decided, was to introduce a gamification element to the process, as well as peer motivation. Shower With Friends consists of a real-time intelligent water meter which reports your usage and prompts you to be quicker and quicker.
Shower With Friends has just been named the winner of the Hackathon at TechCrunch Disrupt 2014. The idea originated in the offices of Mashery, where the engineering team were using a ‘kegbot’ to monitor beer consumption. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich asked if it would be possible to adapt this technology for use in the home, and Shower with Friends was born. The same principle can be used to monitor efficiency in toilets, dishwashers, lawn sprinklers, and basically any appliance which uses water – although I’m not sure ‘Flush With Friends’ has quite the same ring to it.