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The challenge

A recent survey commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust using data supplied by 86,000 British households found that showers are the biggest consumers of water in the home, accounting for 25% of domestic water use.

According to the Energy Saving Trust study, the average shower last seven and a half minutes, but reducing this by even one minute has the potential to save British households £215 million on energy bills each year.

  • Applied Expertise
  • Research & strategy
  • Human factors
  • Industrial design
  • Packaging
  • Technology development
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electronic engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Wireless & connected
  • Short run manufacturing
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Supply chain management

The solution

Working with renowned designer Paul Priestman, Cambridge Design Partnership helped create the Waterpebble. We were responsible for inventing the key component of the product – a reliable low-power water sensor made from low-cost electronic components, with the heart of the detection method implemented in the embedded software.

The Waterpebble has a smooth, pebble-like appearance and is designed to sit on the floor of a shower, recording the amount of time that water flows past it, thus measuring the amount of time a person spends in the shower. It aims to gradually reduce the time spent showering, by using a traffic light LED system to indicate when the user should finish.

Benefit to client

From initial concept to collaborating with the factory in China to develop working prototypes and production processes, we were closely involved. Building on an ongoing relationship with the factory, we could help accelerate the product to market.

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