When Heatworks introduced the Tetra at CES 2018, I imagine they were just as surprised as anyone when it became one of the most buzzed about new products at the annual tech show.
The tiny countertop dishwasher, which promised to clean a few settings of dishes with just half a gallon of water in 10 minutes, appeared on dozens of top of CES lists and the product’s small form factor, sexy design and estimated price point ($299 at the time) had many of us signing up to be notified when it was available.
All of that buzz was probably new for a company that had focused on making tankless water heaters to that point, which probably added a bit of pressure when the original ship date of end of 2018 slipped by.
When I asked them about it last year, Heatworks said the reason for the delay was they were primarily focused on bringing their latest generation water heater, the Model 3, to market. It turns out they also had another reason, which is they would ultimately need a partner to build the sophisticated detergent dispensing system required for such a small form factor device.
That partnership, announced today, is with German conglomerate BASF.
According to the release, the Tetra cartridge system “will be designed to deliver custom solutions and dosing, dependent on the selected wash cycle, ensuring each cleaning cycle is optimized. Tetra’s cartridges will last for multiple loads and consumers will be able to sign up for a subscription, so that cartridges are shipped to them automatically.”
Obviously a subscription based detergent system is a new wrinkle for the Tetra, one that might be a cause for reconsideration for those still waiting for a Tetra. Another potential concern might be the slightly higher price tag ($399) for the new device.
Still, unlike many of the other countertop dishwashers on the market, the Tetra doesn’t require plumbing or hoses and uses less than half of the water. Because of this self-sufficiency and the product’s attractive design, I imagine the 25,000 or so customers the company says have signed up expressing interest in the Tetra might still pull the trigger.
Hopefully soon they’ll have a chance: According to Heatworks and BASF, the Tetra will be available in the second half of 2021.