X, Alphabet’s “moonshot factory,” designed an “atmospheric water harvester” that allows it to produce drinking water from the air. The device works by pulling in outside air, uses fans and heat from sunlight to create condensation, producing clean drinking water drip by drip. Roughly 1 billion people who don’t currently have safe drinking water live in places where the water harvester could work. The device is designed to work off-grid and eliminates every possible expense. It uses only a few photovoltaic cells to power its fans and relies mostly on solar heat. The team thinks a final design could yield 5 liters of water per day. Since the device isn’t meeting X’s criteria for “radical technology”, they are making the design open source so others can keep the work moving forward. About X’s decision to make the design open source, Jackson Lord, former X employee, said “If we can accelerate the progress of delivering safe water in any way, we think that’s a worthy goal.”

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