What if you’re a biker, cycling in the countryside miles away from the nearest town, and you suddenly feel thirsty but don’t have any water with you? If you have Fontus attached to your bike, there’s nothing to worry about. You simply will never run out of water!
Fontus is a brilliant device invented by Vienna-based designer, Kristof Retezár. This practical gadget has been specially designed to be attached to a bike and generate drinkable water from humidity in the air. Let’s see how: it basically works on the principle of condensation. In order to understand this principle, imagine taking a can of soda out of the fridge. After a while, moisture will start appearing on its sides. As Retezár has explained: “This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air. You always have a certain percentage of humidity in the air, it doesn’t matter where you are – even in the desert. That means you would always potentially be able to extract that humidity from the air”.
Fontus, which works using solar power, can produce 0.5 liters of water in 1 hour. It consists of a condensator functioning like a cooler, connected to a series of hydrophobic surfaces that repel water. “As the bike-mounted gadget takes in air, and these surfaces get cold, you’re left with condensation”, Retezár says, also explaining that: “Because they’re hydrophobic, they immediately repel the condensed water that they created, so you get a drop flow [into the bottle]. Basically, you’re taking air in a vapor state and converting it into a liquid state”.
At the moment, this device contains a filter that prevents dust and insects from falling into the water.However, there is no filter that protects the water from potentially harmful contaminants. Kristof Retezár commented in this saying: “The water you get is clean, unless the air is really contaminated. We’re thinking about making a bottle that also has a carbon filter, and this one would be for cities or areas where you might think the air is contaminated. But, originally, this water bottle was thought to be used in nature, and places where you wouldn’t have contaminated air”.
The Austrian government has funded Retezár’s invention. In addition, a crowdfunding campaign has been planned in a couple of months in order to raise money for the mass production of this device. It will take approximately 10 months for Fontus to become available and its cost will be relatively low, less than $100. So, here’s the good news: all of you that enjoy cycling will be able to use this practical and brilliant device in the near future!