I received this via email a while ago from Thomas Frey in the US. My instant reaction was that it was nuts and the email ended up being deleted. But then I had second thoughts and removed the email from the rubbish bin. Perhaps the idea isn’t so crazy after all. And what was it that Einstein said about crazy ideas? “If it doesn’t sound absurd then there’s no hope for it.” Something like that. So take off your cynical spectacles and read on….
“Last week I got into a discussion with a friend about the concept of self-contained water. If you think in terms of picking up a bottle of water, only without the bottle, you get the picture.
Rocks are self-contained, baseballs are self-contained, so why can’t we devise some way to make water self-contained? Yes, we have ice, but I’m referring to a more usable form of water. As an example, if water itself could be used to form a somewhat hardened skin around a small quantity of water, we could create 100% consumable water with zero waste.
An industrial design team in London has come the closest with something called “Ooho,” a blob-like water container made out of an edible algae membrane. While it still involves using something other than water, it does give us clues on how to make a container out of what we’re trying to contain, in this case water.
As we imagine our way through this design problem, many more questions come to light. Should it be flexible like a plastic bag or a bit more ridged like a typical water bottle? What is the ideal shape? Should it be a cube for easy stacking, have a handle for easy holding, or spherical just because it looks cool?
Even a container made of water will get dirty, so how do we clean the dirt from the side of a solid water container? More water?More importantly, what is the optimal size for a self-contained water container? Should it be cup sized, quart-sized, gallon-sized, or larger? Or maybe marble-sized or pea-sized water pellets would work best.
Should the water be “eaten” like tiny liquid snacks that could be popped into your mouth at any time? Perhaps we would want flavored water like cherry water, tea water, coffee water, or chocolate water. Maybe we don’t actually eat or drink the container. Once the inside water is gone, it may be possible to just discard the bottle onto a lawn or flowerbed, as a form of enviro-littering, and wait for it to re-liquefy, sending a few drops of moisture to the thirsty plants below.
How would we fabricate the container part of water? Would it somehow be molded, pressed, 3D printed, or simply sprayed onto a form.”