It’s hard not to get excited about new technology that promises to completely change how you do something as fundamental as hydration. Water is one of the building blocks of life. We can’t live without it. You’d think in 2016 it wouldn’t be so hard to come by clean drinking water. But as we’ve seen in the news lately, there are still plenty of challenges. So, what does that have to do with a new water bottle? Well, it’s not the bottle itself, but that big lid on top. Hidden inside is a small device known as a Peltier element, along with a fan, and some sort of fancy hydrophobic material.
Hydrophobic materials have been everywhere the past few years, whether in devices like this water bottle, or simply in the form of a fun, science-y children’s toy. A Peltier element is actually an older technology that’s been given renewed focus lately as researchers have developed more efficient versions. They are a type of device known as a thermoelectric cooler. You might find them in small refrigerators for cars, and some clothing designers are even using them to create self-cooling jackets.
In this prototype water bottle, the cooler and the fan are used to collect water vapor out of thin air (much like a dehumidifier), causing it to condense inside the cap. That’s where the hydrophobic material comes in. The condensation turns into beads as it tries to form on the water-repelling material, and those beads fall quickly into the bottle below.
That’s right folks, this is a self-filling water bottle, that thanks to a solar panel that wraps around the bottle when not in use, can be used anywhere to gather clean, fresh drinking water, right out of the air. Whether the device will work as intended in all environments or once it’s mass-produced are big questions still lingering, but the crowdfunding campaign is coming up, and we’re thinking this one crazy idea might be worth seeing happen.