Kristof RetezárWhile you're pedaling furiously on the uphills, your water bottle could be hard at work, too.
Fontus, a water bottle that takes in moisture from surrounding air, can produce clean, drinkable water in under an hour (assuming the air is also relatively clean).
Created by Austrian industrial designer Kristof Retezár, Fontus was designed to help people in water-scarce areas, including some 1.2 billion people around the world. Rather than relying on complex water purification systems, Retezár wanted to make something simple and portable.
"This is simply condensation of the humidity that is contained in the air," Retezár told Live Science.
When humid air flows into the device, it hits a series of hydrophobic "teeth," which look kind of like toothbrush bristles, that help turn the water vapor into actual droplets. A small solar panel on the top of Fontus keeps a battery charged.
Retezár says the bottle works best between 86 degrees and 104 degrees Fahrenheit and between 80 and 90% humidity. Over the course of an hour, Fontus can produce roughly 0.5 quarts of water.
The current prototype isn't perfect, the designer concedes.
Fontus can filter out some large contaminants, like bugs and dust, but the filter isn't designed to keep out small contaminants like sediment. In future models, Retezár hopes to install a carbon filter that will make it more useful in water-scarce regions where air quality is also an issue.
Retezár plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign soon to bring Fontus to the market by the fall. He hopes to get the price under $100.