Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday September 04 2009

Incoming email from Perry de Havilland with a link to this, which is about a magic water bottle.  You put in any water provided it isn’t sea water, however dirty and full of crap (literally), and out comes clean, drinkable water, or so the man in the video says.  Website here.

LIFESAVER bottle is the worlds first all-in-one, personal ultrafiltration bottle. With a filter size of just 15 nanometres, it removes all waterborne pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites without the need for any foul tasting chemical treatments or long stand times.

LIFESAVER bottle incorporates a built in pressurisation system to give a two litre per minute filtration rate - as fast as you can drink it!!

Filtration occurs on demand rather than at the time of collection, meaning that you can quickly ‘scoop and go’ at any flowing or stagnant water source and be absolutely confident that you will be drinking completely safe, sterile water.

I do love technical fixes, that you just sell to people, one by one.  No politics.  No having to get lots of anti-technological UN bureaucrats who will be made monkeys of by the thing to agree with it.  No complicated infrastructure that will cost millions.  Just sell it, one bottle at a time, first to rich Americans, then to other Americans, then throughout the rich world, and finally to the wretched of the earth.

To start with the anti-technos will want it abolished, because it spreads the notion that their pet problems that are their excuse for being stupid about everything are actually soluble, by sensibleness aka capitalism.  (They’ll probably say it has a huge carbon footprint, like they do with everything they don’t like.) Then when it starts to spread like wildfire, they’ll switch to moaning about the magic water bottle divide, and they’ll start saying it should be done for about half the - by then - very low price that it has plummeted to, saying that capitalism can’t do that.  Then their scheme will collapse in a maelstrom of incompetence and mutual recrimination, and the capitalist version will duly (i.e. about a year later) plummet to the price they made such a fuss about it not being able to plummet to, and then after that just carry on plummeting.  These bottles now cost well over a hundred quid.  In two decades, they’ll be a quid or less.

As I say, I do love technical fixes, so maybe there is something seriously wrong with this gizmo, and I am getting carried away with what is actually a piece of deception, perhaps because it is self-deception, or perhaps because it is just a con.  I certainly have my doubts about the extent to which the man in the video “invented” this bottle.  Surely, all he did was stuff the best sort of magic nano-filter stuff for the purpose into the best sort of bottle for the purpose.  He merely, that is to say, developed it.  But no matter, he still done good, I think.  As enthusiasms go, I think this is a pretty honourable one.  I live in hope.

Incredible.

Posted by Guido Fawkes on 05 September 2009

If he can filter water full of shit he must have extremely efficient “windscreen wipers” for his membrane.

Posted by Frank on 05 September 2009

More useful than a Lifestraw.

Posted by Gareth on 05 September 2009

Another Great invention from the UK

http://www.reevu.com

Posted by Mark on 06 September 2009

Not a hope. These are a biological hazards.

You are carrying around with you a micro filter system and pumping air and shitty water through it. It is intended for a warm environment.

The thing just becomes a brewing pot for some real killers. Then what happens to it. It breaks or clogs up. This will occur at the water source.

So the water source will be contaminated by lots of brewing bottles and plastic waste.

Even the design is mad. Who would design something that the clean end is inverted and will be contaminated by the dirty water filling. Once the output side is contaminated by the user the unit will become a killer in week or two.

Posted by Neil on 06 September 2009

I’m sure there are design flaws, but design is just that - it can be improved. If this engineering works it not only does as the inventor claims, but potentially frees the rest of us from dependency on big corporates - so long as there are competitors for the manufacture of the filters of course.

Posted by ian on 22 November 2010
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