Tim Cook Invested in Nebia Shower Head After Stepping Under a Prototype in His Local Gym

by

Back in 2015, Tim Cook threw his weight behind a water-efficient shower head called Nebia, which sprays in a way that uses less water, but still keeps people warm. It doesn't have an Apple logo on it, but looks like something the company would design – if it made bathroom hardware.

nebia by moen shower head
Today, Nebia unveiled a new version of its shower system, and some of the interesting backstory behind Cook's arguably left-field investment choice has also come to light.

According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the Apple chief reportedly made his decision off the back of first-hand experience with the product, after he serendipitously stepped under a prototype at his local gym in Palo Alto, California.

Philip Winter, who helped create the Nebia, told Gurman he managed to persuade fitness centers in Silicon Valley to run pilot tests of the eco-shower, and after installing the prototypes he would wait outside locker rooms to get feedback. That's when he met Cook.

Cook was drawn to the environmental aspect, according to Winter, who asked the Apple boss if he'd be willing to make an investment. Despite the first prototype being "crude," the Apple CEO was excited about the product because there hadn’t been much recent innovation in the shower market. He also appreciated the design, Winter said.

Cook subsequently backed Nebia and also went on to contribute in later financing rounds. The startup has raised almost $8 million in total, according to Crunchbase.

Winter said Cook had invested a "significant" amount of his own money in the eco-shower head and advised Nebia on suppliers. He also pushed the startup to prioritize user experience, design and sustainability. According to Winter, Cook's input came in a series of emails that were "very long, well crafted and detailed."

The new Nebia, launching today on Kickstarter, is a smaller and less expensive version of the one Cook originally tested first-hand, but it's the result of a two-year partnership with faucet maker Moen that the Apple boss supported. The Nebia by Moen starts at $160 on Kickstarter, and will eventually be available for $199, down from $499.

Top Rated Comments

rjtyork Avatar
13 months ago
Gotta admit there’s some balls involved in waiting for people outside the shower to ask if they enjoyed it. Especially with someone like Tim Cook.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H.E. Pennypacker Avatar
13 months ago
Moen needs to launch a Kickstarter for a new product? They don’t have enough capital to launch this on their own?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
theluggage Avatar
13 months ago


The Nebia by Moen starts at $160 on Kickstarter, and will eventually be available for $199, down from $499.

That's certainly progress and I don't want to be too negative - but the next step is to get it down to $50 or so, so that it gets fitted to 90% of showers rather than just (being optimistic) 10% of hipster wet-rooms.

(I'm sure that you can pay way more than $200 for a fancy shower head that doesn't save water, but they're going to be outsold 10:1 by cheaper ones).

Innovation is good, but if you claim to be saving the planet then it needs to be driven by sensible priorities: a cheap shower head that saves 10% of the water and could be simply screwed on to your existing hose would likely be better for the environment than an expensive one that saves 50%.

NB: a $200 shower-head might pay for itself in water bills (at least in the Californias of this world) but it is important to remember that the "total cost of ownership" concept is a luxury only enjoyed by those with plenty of capital. (Documented by Terry Pratchett as the "Sam Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness" - google it)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
budselectjr Avatar
13 months ago
Since I don't live in a state where I will get fined or go to jail for using too much water I will stick to my normal shower heads with the flow reducer removed.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
13 months ago
I don’t like Kickstarter as it is, too much room for them to take your money and run. I’m tired of established companies using crowdfunding for their prototyped ideas.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
D.T. Avatar
13 months ago
I love a good shower, I mean, a well designed one, with good water delivery/pressure, the right kind of lighting (warm, dimmable), space, open shelfs for a beverage (shower cocktails, woo!). A couple of hotels we've been to, I'm like, "I am moving into this shower, they'll have to drag me out ..."



Gotta admit there’s some balls involved in waiting for people outside the shower to ask if they enjoyed it.

"Why do you think I was in there for 20 minutes ...?"

*wink*
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...