The Nebia Shower System is an honoree in the 2017 Innovation By Design Awards, Fast Company‘s annual celebration of the best ideas in design. See the rest of the winners, finalists, and honorable mentions here.
The Nebia Shower System was designed to conserve water—up to 70% per use—while delivering an entirely new cleansing experience. Nebia’s showerhead atomizes water into millions of droplets, dramatically increasing surface area for a steam-room-like effect. Since launching on Kickstarter in August 2015 and raising $3.1 million, Nebia, whose subsequent investors include Apple CEO Tim Cook, has tested its product in the gym showers of Equinox, Google, Apple, and Stanford University. Nebia began shipping to consumers in January 2017; to date, more than 16,000 have been sold. “There’s no meaningful way to create more water [in the world],” says Nebia CEO Philip Winter. “We have to use what we have more efficiently.”
Winter and his design team used an array of nozzles borrowed from internal combustion engines and the agricultural and industrial cleaning industries, plus a halo-shaped head that sprays in a pattern designed to maximize body coverage. Even so, the Nebia team wasn’t initially sure the showerhead would work for people with long hair. To test it, they’d arrive at Equinox gyms at 5 a.m., install prototypes in women’s locker rooms, and interview people after they emerged. The Nebia system, users said, was just as effective at removing conditioner as a traditional shower. For remaining skeptics, Winter takes a different tactic: “We invite them to the office to take a shower.”