What could the next big Apple product be? A car? A virtual reality headset? Or maybe a shower head?
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently used some of his millions of dollars to invest in a startup called Nebia, which is aimed at creating a modern shower head that can both improve the shower experience and reduce water use by 70 percent.
"We decided to start with the shower because it is, in the house, among the biggest users of water and, more importantly, it is peoples' personal alone time with water," said Nebia co-founder and CEO Philip Winter in an interview with Mashable. "If we can cause a change there through a better experience, then we can really do something powerful."
According to the Nebia website, the shower head atomizes water into millions of tiny droplets, increasing the surface area of the water being used. These microdroplets are supposedly quite luxurious, falling somewhere between the experience of a steam room and an actual shower.
It's important to note that the investment from Tim Cook was confirmed by Apple to be a personal one with no ties to Apple as a company. However, it seems as though Cook might be offering more than just money, with Winters saying that Cook also offers insight and feedback on the product and Nebia as a company.
The Schmidt Family Foundation, which was created by ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, now executive chairman of Alphabet Inc., also reportedly invested in the company, although the amount it invested is not known.
Nebia has been in the making for a number of years now. The other Nebia co-founder, Carlos Gomez Andonaegui, previously ran a number of investment firms in Mexico City, where water conservation is a big issue. Andonaegui partnered with Winters two years ago to begin working on the Nebia shower head.
The shower head has been undergoing testing at a number of companies in Silicon Valley, including at the Apple offices and at Google. This is to help the company get feedback about the shower head.
Apart from getting investments from Silicon Valley companies, Nebia is also undergoing a Kickstarter campaign, and has raised $640,918 at the time of this writing with 30 days left to go. The goal of the project was $100,000. Currently those who want the shower head for themselves will need to pledge $279, with cheaper, early bird specials being sold out. Pledges go all the way up to $10,000 for 40 shower heads, geared toward owners of a hotel or similar service.