A Different Kind of Streaming

My prayers have been answered. Ever since I was a small boy, I have wanted this. Every day at school I filled my notebooks with scribbled diagrams of my dreams. My teachers thought I was crazy. But now, my dreams have come true. I pinch myself in disbelief as I say this – humanity has been gifted with a water-powered loudspeaker.

Okay, okay, okay. I'm poking fun. How could I resist? But actually, this thing is pretty darn clever. It's a hydro-powered amplifier/loudspeaker called the Shower Power from a Kickstarter company called Ampere. It attaches to your shower head and uses the stream of water to generate the electricity needed to charge a battery and hence run the amplifier which drives a contained loudspeaker. Audio is delivered to the unit via Bluetooth. Of course, everything is waterproof. Like I said – pretty darn clever.

The only way to power this speaker is by water. When you twist your faucet, it powers up. And it turns out that water power can deliver some decent audio power. According to the developers, the impeller generates up to 150 mA and can charge the 2600 mAh battery in 14-16 hours. With no water running, that provides up to 14 hours of listening time, presumably a useful thing if you're in the bathroom doing things other than showering. With water running at a PSI of 25-30, you'll get up to 170 hours of time. At a reduced volume level, with water pressure of 30 PSI or more, the generator can power the unit indefinitely. The driver measures 40 mm and outputs 85 dBC in standard mode and 45 dBC in low-power mode. It can connect to 2 sources simultaneously with Bluetooth 5.0 and stream from either one.

Over time, I suppose that mineral deposits found in some water supplies could clog up the internal workings, but the developers say the unit is designed to be taken apart and easily cleaned. In any case, until then, you are naked, wet, dancing, and off the grid. The Shower Power is currently being offered for a pledge of $59 or more. You can read the details, and back the project here.

It's worth noting that when you support a Kickstarter company, you are not actually buying a product. Some products that are funded never actually materialize. And, some products that are delivered may not meet the promises that were made. So, caveat emptor.

Still – a water-powered sound system - what a creative bit of engineering. I appreciate the idea of merging a centuries-old power source with something as contemporary as Bluetooth. It's especially interesting to consider that whereas hydro-power will still be used far into the future, Bluetooth will probably be an obsolete technology in a few years.

Of course the doubters, the naysayers, and the Luddites will scoff at such a veritable leap of genius. But imagine the possibilities – think of all the flowing water in your house, and all the electrical devices we could power. I can see the future, and it is awesome. And also very wet.

dommyluc's picture

Interesting. But, like, I am totally sure the upcoming rival product being developed by LIRPA Labs will blow this device out of the water (please excuse that god-awful pun).

hk2000's picture

How loud does it have to be to overcome the sound level of the running water? Seriously how dumb do you have to be to invest in this idea?