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My sense of smell is absolutely garbage. It's actually pretty helpful in situations where a bad whiff will send others recoiling, but it has excluded me from some of the supposedly finer olfactory experiences. My dad's big on cologne, and has often tried to get me to try some, to no avail. I picked up a lemon balm at a community plant swap last summer. If I rub a leaf between my thumb and and index finger, and jam them up my nostrils, I can get the sense of "Oh yeah, that's kinda like Pine-sol" for a split-second.
It's up this steep hill that the folks at hai were pitching me on their new hydrotherapy system which promised to rejuvenate mind and body by infusing your shower with some real nice-smelling stuff. I have a hard time suppressing the eye-roll reflex when the word "wellness" enters into the conversation. Things quickly turned around when I saw that hai showerheads had Bluetooth built in and communicated water usage data to a mobile app. Being equal parts nerd and environmentalist, I had to give it a shot.
Out of the box, the hai showerhead is a beautiful piece of hardware. It has bold color options and strong build quality. The branding is super cute too. The box greets you with "oh, hai" when you open it, and the website domain www.gethai.com is lol because drugs! Get it!?!?1! Installation with the beefy built-in stainless steel tightening mechanism was a breeze. In the end there were no leaks, which is more than I can say for my old janky plastic showerhead. The only real complaint is that the body angles towards the wall and doesn't leave a lot of room for my caddy. A single slider on the showerhead arm lets you switch between a standard water jet and a rather pleasant fine spray.
The new fuse addition gets screwed in at the bottom of the hai body, with a little help from an Allen key. After popping off a capsule from the fuse, you put in a dissolvable infusion tablet. With a little extra twist, your shower is chock-full of eucalyptus, mandarin, or lavender aromas. hai also puts vitamins in these infusions which can apparently be absorbed through your skin, though I'm gonna keep relying on food for my nutrients, thanks.
The app is really nice. First off, there's an LED on the front of the hai's body which you can set to communicate different things. By default, it switches from green to orange when you've used more water than the set limit. hai also uses the water temperature to estimate how much energy is being used to heat your shower. Some may not see the appeal of an unblinking eye judging their contributions to the climate apocalypse while they're naked and vulnerable, but some of us thrive under that kind of guilt. The whole system is powered by turbines, so you'll only get a real steady Bluetooth connection to your phone while the water's running. Hai claims you can still sync data for an hour after the shower, though I've found that fairly unreliable on Android. The only real downside to the app is that they have a whole section dedicated to content around "rituals". If you're into that wellness stuff, then maybe learning about the healing power of adult colouring books will be useful to you.
Now, my sense of smell being what it is and my cynicism towards "wellness" well-established, the aromatherapy really didn't do much for me. However, I'm not the only one using my shower. My partner was huffing those eucalyptus fumes like nobody's business. I actually think we're going to negate any potential water savings with the extra showers she's going to take now. On the environmental side, I'm a little dubious that the embodied carbon footprint of manufacturing a stainless steel showerhead will offset energy savings from robust hot water monitoring, even if you end up using the thing for the rest of your life. That may be a moot point if you need a new showerhead either way. Also, being in Ontario, we aren't exactly hurting for freshwater or clean energy; in other locations you're likely to get better eco-mileage.
From the tech standpoint, hai is really great. It has a smooth interface, high-quality hardware, and it generates some real useful, actionable data from your everyday life. Plus it smells nice… at least for those of us that can smell it.
hai is available now for $250, the fuse extension is only $50, and the tablets are $30 for a pack of 16 from gethai.com.
hai smart showerhead
hai smart showerheads can track water heating and usage with a slick mobile app, and with a few additions, infuse your shower with aromas and vitamins.
CrackBerry Podcast #1: CES 2023 — Your Piss Is Unique
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