There are few things that most of us like better than a long, hot shower, but they sure use up a lot of water and power. That’s why Tufts University grads Brett Andler, Sam Woolf and Tyler Wilson have created the Uji illuminated shower head. It gradually changes from green to red while in use, letting users know when it’s time to get out.

Once the Uji has turned red, it doesn’t force users out by shutting off the water, freezing them, giving them an electric shock, or anything like that. The idea is more that it simply serves as a way of making them realize how much time is passing. According to a report on NPR, the current prototype is set to turn fully red after seven minutes, although the duration may be adjustable on a commercial version.

According to its inventors, a six-month study indicated that the Uji reduces showering time by an average of 12 percent, which should add up to a savings of approximately US$85 a year in a home setting. In a university setting, that figure goes up to $200 a year. That’s pretty good, for something that they hope to sell for about $50 a pop.

Andler, Woolf and Wilson are currently looking for investors to help take their creation to market, and hope for it to be commercially available by next year. If you just can’t wait that long, however, you might want to check out the Water Pebble – it’s sort of like the Uji, although it sits near the drain hole.

A demo video of the Uji can be seen below.

Source: Uji via NPR