Fontus self-filling water bottles were invented by Austrian industrial designer Kristof Retezár. The bottle design has been nominated for a number of industry awards including the prestigious James Dyson Award, for its ability to collect moisture from the air and store it as safe drinking water.
The self-filling water bottle range includes Fontus AIRO, the stand-alone version, and Fontus RYDE, the bicycle version.
The Fontus system harvests water by drawing humid air into a built-in cooling chamber with a water-repellent surface that slows down the air speed to facilitate condensation. During this process, the air molecules get separated from the water molecules, which drip down into the bottle while the dry desaturated air is released. The bottles can harvest up to 0.8 litres of water in under one hour in the right climatic conditions.
Both the AIRO and the RYDE are equipped with solar cells to power their internal systems. The only difference between the two products is that the RYDE collects air from the airstream of a moving bike where as the AIRO relies on an inverted ventilator to suck air into its chamber.
The prototype designs include a filter to keep out dust and bugs but not harmful air contaminants. This is suitable for a natural outdoor setting but not for a polluted city environment. Retezár says they are currently looking at including a carbon filter to block out chemicals in the city air.
The success of the bottle design has resulted in the establishment of Fontus, the startup company that develops green products to improve quality of life. It plans to launch the water bottle range on Indiegogo in less than two weeks.