The Science of the Shower

The Science of the Shower


Back in May we published a post about Delta Faucet’s Touch technology. It was pretty interesting stuff for something many of us may not think about as we head to the sink to wash up. For this post, we thought we’d go a bit deeper into the technology and science behind Delta H2Okinetic technology and move from the sink to the shower with senior product development manager Paul Patton.  I also asked about Delta’s experience at Maker Faire in New York and the Bay Area. -Stett Holbrook

In a nutshell, how does the technology work?

H2Okinetic technology addresses the need for water efficiency in the shower, but does not compromise the user’s experience. It relies on the science of fluidics to create a consumer-proven feeling of more water without using more water. Each showerhead and handshower pushes water through a series of fluidic chips that create specially designed channels to control  the water’s speed, movement and droplet size – all without relying on moving parts. As an end  result, fat droplets of water are sculpted into a unique wave pattern that provides the feeling of  up to 40 percent more water.

Does Delta technology resonate with Maker Faire attendees?

We have been extremely pleased with the response to our technologies and working displays at the Faires. Attendees of all ages were eager to experience and learn about the science behind our Touch2O and Touch2O.xt Technologies, which is based on the precise, highly responsive, capacitive technology that is found on smart phones, tablets, and other touch-activated devices. In New York, we had people lining up to feel the difference between a regular showerhead and a Delta showerhead with H2Okinetic technology. The idea of providing the feeling of more water without actually using more water really struck a cord with that group! The flow of traffic through our booth from start to finish each day was outstanding. In fact, our team of inventors left each night with tired legs and exhausted voices from sharing insights, but the experience was totally worth it.

What kind of feedback did you get on the touch technology?

Our touch activated kitchen and hands free bath faucets drew a lot of comments. We even had a robot operating a Delta kitchen faucet in the Bay Area! The Touch2O.xt Technology bath faucet display was very popular. Visitors felt compelled to find the most unique way to turn on the faucet without using their hands. From kids to adults, people were fairly surprised that our hands-free faucets don’t use infrared sensors, like other electronic faucets do. Instead, we found capacitance sensors made our faucets with touch and hands-free activation more responsive and intuitive, while offering the control that consumers want. Naturally, we received countless, thoughtful questions about how the technology worked, the ease of installation and the fact that you don’t have to plug the faucet in. Attendees liked the fact that capacitive faucets use energy very efficiently; for example kitchen faucets with Touch2O are powered by 6 AA batteries that can last up to 2 years with normal use. We especially enjoyed listening in as the young makers explained the science behind our displays to their parents. I found it quite impressive that at 10 or 12 years old boys and girls were breaking down terms like “capacitance” and “vortex” into easy to grasp descriptions for other booth visitors.

What else is Delta working on?

Earlier this year, we introduced a new line of toilets that deliver on the brand’s commitment to provide relevant innovations. These high-performance and water-efficient toilets are designed with SmartFit technologies, such as exterior tank-to-bowl connections and integrated supply lines, to address concerns about leaks caused by over tightening and improper installation. Some of the toilets also come with an EZ Out toilet removal kit because we learned that for many, the hardest part about replacing a toilet is actually uninstalling the old one. The idea is that by focusing on the most challenging and daunting parts of the process, we can eliminate some of the common barriers that prevent homeowners from replacing an otherwise inefficient or poorly performing toilet.

We also expanded our H2Okinetic technology onto our In2ition showers. These popular two-in-one showers now not only combine the soothing comfort of a drenching shower with the convenience of a handheld shower, but deliver the feeling of more water while using up to 40 percent less than their standard showerhead counterparts. Additionally, thanks to MagnaDock Technology, the handheld shower locks securely back into the showerhead base when not in use.

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Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

View more articles by Stett Holbrook


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