Wish we'd thought of that: Fontus, the self-filling water bottle

We’ve all been there. You take your Segway out for a hoon in the desert, try to take a selfie and plummet into a ravine, breaking both your legs and rupturing your spleen. The vultures are circling, awaiting your last breath. And then you inevitably have to drink your own urine in an effort to survive the night because your water has run out. Well, Fontus, a seemingly magical self-filling water bottle that harvests moisture from the air, is here to save the day (in harrowing situations like this, during more normal outdoor activities and also in the developing world).

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. 

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