So maybe the Segway scooter wasn’t quite the life-changing device inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen envisioned, but his next creation, The Slingshot, just might be. The 60-pound box can reportedly transform anything wet—ocean water, urine, arsenic-tainted well water, even toxic chemical waste—into pure, distilled drinking water.
The world’s water problems are well documented: 50 percent of worldwide illness is caused by water-borne pathogens, and though we take access to inexhaustible supplies of water for granted in the U.S., much of the Third World doesn’t have access to safe H2O. Kamen’s invention aims to put control of the world’s potable water supplies into the hands of individuals. Here’s Kamen demonstrating his amazing invention on The Colbert Report:
The Slingshot is supposedly named after the weapon David used to bring down Goliath. Kamen hopes to bring production down to $1,000, so that even the poorest villages can pool resources to own one.
Can you imagine if he invented a portable, personal version for the backcountry? We’d never need to worry about water sources again, and if somebody asked where my Camelbak is, I could just point to my bladder.
— Ted Alvarez