Faircap at the Barcelona Maker Faire
Attending the Maker Faire in Silicon Valley back in 2014 was one of the key moments that inspired the Faircap project. Realizing that anyone could make something creative, technologically advanced or useful stuff in their garage, college, school or home was very empowering.
Suddendly I saw a lot of people, from kids to senior citizens, who were not engineers or designers coming up with very cool stuff like electric cars made out of plexiglass, or drones that were programmed to test the water quality in the middle of a lake. The Maker Faire has become a celebration for the maker movement. There are Maker Faire versions now happening in tens of cities around the world. The Maker Faire brings together talented and, above all, very passionate people who have a specific interest and they want to show what they have done to the rest of the world, to share what they have achieved, often times to get more inspiration on improvements to a product or research project. One of the best sights is to look at children exploring different projects, playing around with prototypes like robots made out of cardboard or in our case with the Faircap Mini water filter. It feels very much like a school science fair, where proud makers show their latest creations.
The Maker Faire organized this year in Barcelona had a focus on the city as a factory, organized by ShokoTech, FabCity and the FabLab, Faircap was invited to showcase the latest developments of the project. We were very happy to show, for the first time, our final products, the Faircap Mini. It was our first chance to, without prior instructions or guidelines, see how people would react to filtering water with a plastic bottle and a small filter inside the cap. We have great insights. We noticed that a lot of people did not first understand what the project was about, I guess that is related to never having seen something like this. Some people tested the filters by squeezing the bottle full of muddy water into a cup. Some, even kids with parental guidance, drank the filtered water without hesitation! If kids were curious enough to see how the filters worked and brave enough to drink the water, we felt like we were onto something.
This is because our of the 1.8 million people who die every year from waterborne diseases like cholera, about 90% are children. If we make it much easier to drink clean water specially to those children, I think we could really have an impact in developing countries.