My friend Kevin Flick is heading up a team at PATH focused on creating a household water purification system for the third world. Prior to this Kevin worked at Microsoft designing game related devices and before that he designed prosthetics. In his backyard he regularly creates challenging obstacle courses that Simone and Naomi love to navigate. Kevin has a keen ability to imagine how other people think and can design devices that are intuitive for them to use. Today, he is doing in India testing out one such device.
Kevin and the team brought the water purifier to a number of families to watch them carefully as they assembled it. He took the picture above while in the village of Wailal (near Hyderaba, the capital of the state Andhra Pradesh, India) where a father, mother, two children and the father's parents live. Kevin said that they get their water at a nearby pipe when the electricity is on between 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Initially they had difficulties assembling the device, but eventually got it together (40 minutes) with no instructional aids. As usual, it was a very communal effort, with the whole family joining in to puzzle out the novel device. Now that they have seen this, Kevin and his team, with a few tweaks, can make it even easier to set-up.
Here is the team that is working together to ensure the success on the ground of the water purification device. User interface is handled. Now on to the next problem, how to entice families to buy them!
Another water purification device is being made by Water 1st. My friend Debbie Dubrow used that centralized solution (rather than a distributed device for each household) when she raised money online (Passports with a Purpose 2010) to build a village in India.
How lucky we are to be able to safely gulp it down!