(just a start Sharon – let’s add / mod / brainstorm on this post!)
It is a testament to the seriousness of our water needs, both here in California and across the globe, that almost immediately upon forming, the members of Team Compass H2O unanimously agreed that our work must in some way consider our very serious water issues here in 2014.
From our overall passion for water issues we quickly focused on the individual need for hydration. From a California product developer on a weekend hike to someone in the developing world making a trek for medical treatment, hydration is essential to all who travel.
In the comfort of a 1st world office hydration is often just a refrigerator away. But beyond that artificial oasis, on journeys both short and long, life-giving clean water can be a lot more elusive.
1. A wrist worn compass that senses your hydration level and leads you to water.
Housed in an attractive, durable, waterproof, simulated leather wristband, Compass H2O is a hands-free GPS unit, a hydration sensor, and a water locator. Under the band are miniaturized arrays of impedance measuring electrodes that determine hydration levels. Huang, et al, 2012
2. A crowdsourced database of potable water sources.
Ironically, we anticipate that crowdsourcing will provide the best data for the areas least seriously in need. We’re confident that every water fountain in New York City will be quickly mapped, but far less confident about larger areas in the developing world. Compass H2.O will partner with geologists, water scientists, and local universities in an effort to create a truly global map of current sources of potable water.
3. A propopulated device for areas with no cell or wifi signals.
It is amazing what can be achieved with a cell phone in today’s world. Yet so many of the places we walk are void of cellular and wifi signals. By prepopulating Compass H2O with the latest water database for the area of travel, this device needs nothing more than GPS satellites to lead the wearer to the nearest water source. (or, if hydration needs are light, then to the best water source)
4. A low power device with multiple recharging options
Using a low power chipset and efficient LEDs, Compass H2O is a high efficiency device that can be recharged with a solar button worn on the walker’s shirt.
5. An open source platform for myriad personal and social compass apps in the future.
The initial focus of Compass H2O is indeed navigation and access to water. In the future anyone can use this open source platform to create a variety of Walking Tours, Social Compass Experiences, and many other applications.
Photo by e-magic