This self-filling water bottle is the ultimate in vaporware

Austrian startup Fontus is developing a novel water bottle that is vaporware in just about every sense of the phrase. Not only does it not yet exist in the marketplace, but it is claimed to literally pull water vapor out of the air to fill itself.

fontus-5Harvesting water from the air via processes like condensation has been practiced in various ways for eons, of course. In recent years, we’ve seen a James Dyson award go to an Australian irrigation system that works on the same principle, as well as a lightweight bamboo tower that grabs its own water. But the ability to do so basically on-demand and on the go could be a big deal for hikers, bikers and just about anyone with limited access to clean drinking water. Read more

Cool Runnings: Lockheed using microscopic drops of water to chill chips from the inside

Every year, electronic components shrink a bit more, allowing engineers to create more powerful and sophisticated chips. Unfortunately, these chips also generate a lot of heat, so novel cooling systems are needed to keep them running. As part of DARPA’s ICECool-Applications research program, Lockheed Martin is developing a way of cooling high-powered microchips from the inside using microscopic drops of water.

icecool-darpa-3Ever since the first vacuum tube was invented by John Fleming in 1904, heat has been the nemesis of electronics. It’s one reason why old radio sets are built like furniture and why the first computers filled whole rooms. Each valve was basically an incandescent bulb and air needed to circulate around them to keep them cool. Read more

Eva smart shower head saves water by gamifying your showers

Showers are one of the top contributors to water usage, and waste, in the household. The makers of the Eva Bluetooth-connected shower head claim it can help you cut that water consumption in half by making sure water only pours down when you actually need it. A free companion app also tracks your water usage, compares it with other users and motivates you to keep saving in the long run, aiming to have the device pay for itself in just one year.

eva-smart-shower-headThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) puts the average shower at 8 minutes and 18 gallons (about 70 liters) of water, amounting to over one trillion gallons (3.8 trillion liters) a year for the US alone. As droughts are making water a very expensive commodity in some places, we’re seeing all sorts of new approaches to reducing water consumption in the shower, ranging from closed-loop recycling adapted from the Space Shuttle to systems that inject tiny air bubbles into the water droplets. Read more

Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds

For people who want to control their weight or reduce their intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, tap water may be what the doctor ordered.

A new study that examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 U.S. adults found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water — tap water or from a cooler, drinking fountain or bottle — by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

0001People who increased their consumption of water by one, two or three cups daily decreased their total energy intake by 68 to 205 calories daily and their sodium intake by 78 to 235 milligrams, according to a paper by University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Ruopeng An. They also consumed 5 grams to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased their cholesterol consumption by 7 to 21 milligrams daily. Read more

Water on Mars Had Unpleasant Taste Most Likely

gale_craterSpecialists of the Open University and the University of Leicester (UK) studied the past of the Red planet and found that water existed in the Gale crater for a long time. And if the earthman had the opportunity to taste it, it would be unlikely he liked. Read more