Illuminating Accessibility: How Showee, a smart shower startup, is bringing light to the shower experience

Catalan startup Showee, which is building smart showers with accessibility in mind, is one such company. Here’s a video showing how it works:More than the hardware, Showee won awards and praise for the social impact it’s trying to make. The company’s CTO, Eloi Mirambell, admitted that the smart shower’s price will have to go down before it has a real chance at B2C. The startup says its shower uses 50% less water than a regular shower. In its FAQ, the startup says that all shower units are sold out, but Showee will be available again starting April 2024.

In the fast-paced world of tech, accessibility has often taken a backseat for major hardware and software developers. However, the importance of accessibility is finally being recognized. In fact, studies show that over a quarter of adults in the US have disabilities and in the UK, a recent report found that 30% of people surveyed struggle to access services. Regulations are now being implemented to ensure better accessibility for all, but some forward-thinking startups are taking the lead.

One such company is Catalan startup Showee. Their innovative smart showers are specifically designed with accessibility in mind. In fact, their team was recently awarded first prize at the Spanish Red Cross’ Humanitarian Technology Awards at 4YFN 2024, a startup event held during the Mobile World Congress.

“The design of Showee’s shower is aimed towards individuals facing both physical and intellectual challenges. With a height-adjustable structure and a smart touchscreen, users are guided through the showering process step by step,” explains a representative from Showee.

However, it is not just the hardware that has earned Showee praise and recognition. What truly sets them apart is their goal to make a social impact. By adapting to the user’s level of autonomy, Showee allows for a more private and relaxing shower experience without compromising safety. In fact, in a testimonial, one user described it as “liberating.” Another user noted that in facilities with limited staff and time, Showee can help provide more showers for patients who need them.

Showee’s CIO, Alejandro Castro, stated in an interview with TechCrunch at 4YFN, “Our goal is not to replace caretakers, whether they are family members or professionals. Instead, we aim to work alongside them. With our mobile app, caretakers can control the showering process and only step in when needed.”

CEO Èric Güell was inspired by the challenges faced by his own family. With a mother who has a chronic illness and a grandmother diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Güell founded Showee in 2017. Their team quickly received support from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, also known as BarcelonaTech.

Go-to-market plans

Considering their focus and the challenges of bringing hardware innovations to the market, it is no surprise that Showee has been in development for several years. However, they have made strategic decisions that have helped them successfully enter the market.

  1. Showee found a manufacturing partner, who provided them with R&D space and helped them build prototypes.
  2. Their sales strategy focused on businesses such as hospitals and care facilities.

Showee’s CTO, Eloi Mirambell, admits that their smart shower’s price must decrease before it becomes a viable option for individuals. Currently priced at around €5,000 (approximately $5,420), it may not be realistic for most homeowners. However, Showee is already working towards making their product more affordable. Mirambell highlights the potential for using less expensive parts and making certain features optional for those who do not need them. Additionally, they introduced a monthly subscription option to offset the cost of a one-time purchase. Showee also plans to raise additional funding and partner with distributors to reach a broader audience.

In addition to promoting accessibility, Showee also offers water conservation benefits. With their shower using 50% less water than a regular one, it can help address the water shortage in Catalonia. Additionally, this can lead to cost savings for retirement homes and facilities, as water rates have been increasing in many parts of Spain.

Showee’s showers are currently being used in retirement homes, hospitals, and housing care centers for individuals with severe autism. They are also exploring opportunities to sell to hotels with a shower program specifically designed for one-time users.

In their FAQ section, Showee notes that all shower units are currently sold out. However, they will be available again starting April 2024. With every sale, Showee is one step closer to making their product accessible to more individuals and improving the lives of many. Showee’s mission to promote accessibility and inclusion is not only admirable but also necessary in today’s society.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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