Microsoft details its plan to become ‘water positive’ by 2030

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced plans to become carbon negative by 2030. But the company isn’t just looking at its emissions. Today, it unveiled its plan to be “water positive” by 2030, too. By that, Microsoft means it will replenish more wate...

Facebook used 86 percent renewable energy in 2019

In 2018, Facebook declared a goal to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2021. Ahead of that deadline, the company appears to be on track. In its first ever sustainability report, published today, Facebook announced t...

There could be as many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy

Is humanity alone in the universe? It’s a question that mankind has grappled with for literal ages, and while Hollywood has spent decades feeding our curiosity with depictions of little green men and pew-pewing lasers, scientists have taken a more ca...

This futuristic vehicle design facilitates irrigation, agriculture and education

Well, 2020 is getting really annoying by the day so I am going to look towards the future. Since I am always told to focus the bright side and be hopeful about the future when the present isn’t great, let’s do it through the design lens. Project Outreach is a modular transport vehicle that was designed to support and develop rural infrastructure in 2045 (of course, this is a concept design so don’t send me an email after 25 years). The conceptual vehicle has a very Tesla-esque aesthetic, it is futuristic without being aggressive like the Cybertruck.

Developing nations need a tech boost to uplift themselves. If the land is mostly flat, the infrastructure is not that hard to create but there are many nations like Africa that have a variety of massive landscapes that will need powerful machines like Project Outreach to do it efficiently. The vehicle’s main aim is reaching out as the name suggests. The goal is to reach the communities in need and provide supplies to facilitate rural development by being a one-stop-shop through its multifunctional modules – Water Mod, Plant Mod, Work Mod are just a few examples. This is meant for micro-communities and the staff will deliver the module to them and change it out when needed.

The Water Mod is equipped with irrigation and sanitation technology to help areas where there is a draught or generally improve water crisis. The Plant Mod comes with agricultural tools to help seed crops in a controlled environment and provide relief for food shortage. The Work Mod is more for research, study, educational needs, and providing a small living quarter. The concept design is something that will be a blessing to refugee communities. Imagine how one vehicle can be a school for a small group of children who have nothing else to hold on to, provide food and water in a crisis with capabilities to expand into a medical space if needed.

Project Outreach makes me hopeful about a future where can empower those who communities who were hard to reach out to. It may be a design but it radiates values and morals that are rooted deeply in kindness and making a positive change – after all, isn’t that what humanity is all about? We don’t have a wand but we have imagination, design thinking and equipment to make it happen so I’ll say that is close enough.

Designer: Alexander Edgington

Alphabet’s next moonshot: protect the ocean

Alphabet's moonshot factory is turning its attention back toward the ocean. But whereas Project Foghorn looked to turn seawater into a carbon-neutral fuel, the newly-announced Tidal has a broader mission to protect the sea and its aquatic inhabitants...

Moen’s voice-activated faucet gives cooks precise amounts of water

Moen, one of the biggest faucet companies in the US, was last spotted at CES showing off its shower "concierge," but now it's turning its attention to more traditional sink fixtures. This year, it announced the U by Moen Smart Faucet -- a voice-activ...

Floating LED art illustrates the quality of NYC’s water

You don't have to check a website to find out whether or not New York City's water is healthy -- for the next few months, you just have to take a look at some art in the water itself. Playlab, Family New York and Floating Point have debuted a float...

How clean is your drinking water? This tiny gadget can tell you in seconds.

We often take the quality of the water we drink for granted. Food is often tested for hygiene and safety, but that level of scrutiny doesn’t extend to water. With water, we usually take for granted that it’s clean if it looks, smells, and tastes okay. If only purity worked that way!

Lishtot TestDrop Pro does what our senses cannot. Tests water for contaminants that we can’t see, smell, or taste. It scans water without needing to be immersed in it, and in a matter of 2 seconds, tells you if the water you’ve got is safe to drink or not. In what outwardly seems like magic, the TestDrop Pro is capable of analyzing your water in mere seconds, without even being in contact with it. Turns out, water emits its own local electromagnetic field, which the TestDrop Pro reads. Using this electromagnetic reading, the TestDrop Pro can tell if your water is safe to drink or not, because pure water emits a marginally different field from water with lead or chlorine in it, water with E. coli, or water with any other contaminants in it. Using this electromagnetic reading, and a simple red and blue light, the TestDrop Pro can, within seconds, tell you whether your water is pure or not. It goes even a step further with Lishtot’s smartphone app, telling you the exact percentage of purity with remarkable accuracy!

Designer: Lishtot

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