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Introducing the Bubble90 Universal Faucet

2019.09.17

Product Vision

We all inhabit the same planet and depend on the same 2% of the global water supply that’s both fresh and available. Due to uneven distribution, changing climate, and a spike in global demand, exacerbated by population and urban density increases, the world is experiencing what’s been termed a global water crisis.

Solving this crisis is the goal of our work in water conservation. In pursuing it, DG TAKANO has always adopted a user-centric mindset: our vision hinges on making it easy, profitable, and efficient for people and businesses to save water on a daily basis. This sympathy for our product’s end-users has enabled our Bubble90 to reframe the rigid dichotomy that existed between sustainability and cost-effectiveness. The same sympathy spurred us to develop a faucet which anyone in the world could use, in the exact way they wanted, to both save water and work more efficiently.


All-Star Performance

The first thing to do if you want to save water, is to use less water. Every second your faucet is kept running increases its debit and, consequently, your water bill. Our international in-house team, together with our consultants from SHARP, has worked tirelessly to provide the best and most in-demand features from all over the world while circumventing conventional issues and bottlenecks. Thus, the Bubble90 faucet, through convenience and design, compounds the efficiency and water-saving benefits of its integrated Bubble90 nozzle, naturally reducing the amount of water you need.

As Mr. Takano explains, “When visiting various countries across Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and America, we originally meant to scout out top brands and adapt the Bubble90 nozzle to their designs. But as I came to understand the underlying forms and features valued by different cultures as well as the different ways in which they used water, I realised that merely adapting wouldn’t be enough. People’s needs had given rise to many disparate solutions, but each of these had its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Through design thinking, DG TAKANO was able to combine the strengths of these solutions and eliminate their underlying issues to create the world’s first ultra-efficient universal faucet.”


Unparalleled Freedom and Positioning Flexibility

The advantage that faucets with fixed spouts have over those with expandable hoses, is that the former allow the use of both hands, since there’s no need to hold the already affixed spout. If the fixed spout is rotatable, that is often enough to offset the need for extra reach, especially in Japan and across Asia where people use both hands when washing the dishes. The flex pipe is a middle ground between the two, but due to the difficulty and effort needed to bend the pipe into the desired position, the user often foregoes readjusting it and thus the actual flexibility of this solution is limited.

The Bubble90 combines the extra reach of a soft hose with the firmness of a fixed faucet. Its robotic arm is able to lock the spout into virtually any desired position on an X-Y-Z positioning axis in a 360-degree radius, and readjusting it is as simple as gently moving it. For the first time in the world, a faucet head is attached to a robotic arm via a magnet. This not only makes it possible to detach and reattach the hose at will but also enables the user to lock the faucet head into any desired position, which in addition to the robotic arm, provides an additional fourth dimension of control and allows the user unparalleled flexibility in directing the water flow.


Extra Reach

Whether you’re a professional using a large industrial sink, a private person with a double sink at home, or you just want to clean your kitchen counter, the extra reach is a great feature and a staple of many modern faucets.

The most common way to provide this extra reach is by attaching the faucet head to an extendable hose. This also grants the user the freedom to position the spout however they wish. But the portion of the hose that cannot be pulled outside becomes quite difficult to clean, presenting a unique challenge, doubly so in areas with hard water. By positioning the hose entirely on the outside of the faucet body, the Bubble90 faucet can be cleaned quickly and easily using its own water spout. Coupled with our magnetic retention mechanism (explained in the previous section), this design feature also gets rid of the tedious task of manually retracting the hose.


Splash Prevention

We’ve all had the frustrating experience of finishing the dishes and realising that our clothes, along with half the kitchen counter, are drenched due to splashing. This is, of course, also true for the machinegun-like power of the Bubble90. Deeper sinks, different height faucets, and customised sink-faucet combination are all viable solutions, but they all constrain the user in a way. With the Bubble90 faucet’s unique control over the water flow, you can maneuver the robot arm to adjust the height, and point the head inwards, in any direction, so that the splash is stopped by the sink walls instead of bouncing off the bottom.


Designed for Hard Water

Hard water is the bane of metal-made plumbing equipment. When you live in an area with hard water, you can easily find your faucet’s internal workings, your water filter, or indeed, your Bubble90 water-saving nozzle’s metallic components rendered unusable. A common solution to this problem is to clean the hard water residue with acid, but acid, too, corrodes metallic components.

The Bubble90 faucet is equipped with a plastic version of the Bubble90 nozzle, which is strong against both acid and hard water scale. Easy to remove and change, it allows the faucet to operate indefinitely, even in a hard water environment, with only routine replacements every few years.


Universal Design, Intrinsic Beauty

To package all these features, we needed a design that conveys the universality of the Bubble90 faucet, yet can still be appreciated all over the world in its own merits. For this challenge, we enlisted the services of Whipsaw, a Silicon Valley-based design company that has already worked on some of the world’s most famous products. Much like their namesake, they worked hand-in-hand with us in order to, as their CEO and principal designer, Mr. Dan Harden, puts it, “[…] create a product design that will be a unique vessel for DG TAKANO’s vision of saving water worldwide. We focused on making something intrinsically beautiful that transcends cultural bias and can be appreciated all over the world.”


Development Progress and Availability

If you’re already interested in purchasing the Bubble90 Universal Faucet for your home or business, you might need to wait a bit. While the main prototype is complete, we’re currently in the final testing period, which is expected to stretch on through 2019. We are performing extensive testing in various conditions across the United States, China, India, France, South Africa, and other countries around the world to ensure the final product is up to our standards. Currently, our Universal Faucet is projected to become available in April 2020. We’ll make sure to update you on our progress, so stay tuned!

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