Smart phones. Smart watches. Smart cars. There are times when it would seem that every device or object imaginable has been reinvented and redesigned with automated, interconnected capabilities, each new “smart” function engineered to make our eyes a little easier. We’ve already seen this technology migrate to the kitchen with a host of smart appliances, and just recently we wrote about the Verdana, an Alexa-powered smart mirror from Kohler. We’re keeping our focus on these high-tech washroom upgrades as we fantasize about the spas of the future, and so today we’re taking a look at Orbital Systems. It’s “the Tesla of showers,” says Forbes, and given the fact that there is currently a Tesla vehicle soaring through outer space, this is no small praise.
Then again, out-of-this-world comparisons aren’t that far-fetched when it comes to Orbital Systems. The name itself seems plucked from the cosmos, and according to The Guardian, the very idea stemmed from space technology. During a stint at NASA’s space centre in Houston, Mehrdad Mahdjoubi, an industrial designer who would eventually co-found and become chief executive officer of the Swedish-based start-up, was working on the space agency’s Mars Mission project. Given that Mars is a waterless planet, innovative solutions relating to personal hygiene must be found for both the journey and the eventual colony that will one day exist upon the Red Planet. Realizing that this technology holds just as much promise here at home as it does elsewhere in the solar system, Mahdjoubi landed on the idea for Orbital Systems. “We’ve transferred the technology from space to Earth,” he told The Guardian.
So –– how exactly does it work?
The shower system runs on a closed loop, using advanced re-purification technology to continuously reuse a set amount of H2O; 5–10 litres of clean water are perpetually circulated throughout the system. The showerhead generates 12 litres per minute –– more, says the company, than almost any other shower on the market, ensuring a rejuvenating, high-pressure experience. A handheld nozzle is also available for more focused application.
A housing panel is where the core technology lies; inside this sleek casing exists a complex system responsible for water purification, temperature correction, and flow adjustment. This panel can either be built into a wall or mounted on it, functioning as a modern décor element. Inside that panel, an OAS filter allows users to shower at their own length and leisure with the knowledge that the water is, and will remain, perfectly clean. The filter rids water of unwanted particles like viruses, bacteria, metals, oils, and 99.9% of toxins. This filter needs to be changed periodically, which can be done by easily unclicking it from the filter bay when you are alerted to do so.
Also easy to install is the system itself; this is plug and play. Simply connect to existing electricity and plumbing, says the company, and you’re good to go –– no need to interrupt the existing moisture barriers.
By recycling and reusing water, Orbital Systems promises over 90% water and energy savings. “Use all the water you want,” says the company, “without wasting a drop.” Curious about how that actually breaks down? The company’s website offers a handy calculator for both residential and commercial usage. In a private residence, 90% water savings can mean the equivalent of 189,800 litres of water and 6,374 kilowatts a year. Financially, that works out to $2,404 dollars in savings, a considerable amount of money that doesn’t have to be –– pun intended –– flushed down the drain.
Photos via Orbital Systems.