As it says on its website, “harvesting water from the air is a method that has been practised for more than 2000 years” (it's common in the Andes, even in the driest place on Earth, and an Australian company called Air Drop does something similar for irrigation systems). And the Fontus project is an attempt to do that on a smaller scale, both to help hikers and bikers lighten loads and increase their freedom, and to give people in regions where drought and disease are prevalent access to clean drinking water.
Fontus, which recently received funding from the Austrian government to help turn its prototype into a mass-produced product, was a finalist for the Dyson award in 2014 and, according to Gizmag, it uses “solar energy to create a condensation chamber that converts humidity extracted from the air into drinking water. When humid air flows into the device, it hits a series of hydrophobic surfaces that cause water droplets to form while a filter keeps dust, bugs and debris out.”
Fontus says the technology can create around half a litre of water every hour.
It currently has two versions, the Airo for hikers and the Ryde for bikers.
“Bikes, as the most widespread means of transport in the world, especially in developing countries, seemed to be the perfect vehicles to combine with the invention. They could work as a mobile water well, for example, providing a child with water for the day while riding to school.”
Its website says both products have patents pending and a crowdfunding campaign is on the agenda for March. Let's hope you can get one before that freak Segway accident.
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).