Turning water bottles into showers and taps
COOLUM inventor Stuart Mason has high hopes for a product he has just launched on Kickstarter that turns a water bottle into a shower.
In the first week on the crowd-funding website, the SpaTap received pledges and interest from America, Russia, the UK and Indonesia as well as distribution enquiries from Slovakia and Croatia, not to mention contact from non-government organisations (NGOs) in Africa interested in the product for its potential to solve water sanitation problems. The goal is to raise $40,000 in 30 days.
Mr Mason, who has already poured $70,000 and two years into the project, is understandably excited by the initial response.
"We are at the launch pad now," he said.
"It's like we've got into the aeroplane, we're on the runway, we've just buckled ourselves into the seats, the pilot just said we are about to take off and the engines are roaring.
"I think it's going to go. From what I've seen, the emails and the feedback ... I'm really proud the energy for this was around the Coolum area.
"So I'd love it if the surfing and camping community, and the locals of the area would get behind it and buy one. Let's take it global and it all started here."
Mr Mason came up with the idea one summer when he noticed the warm temperature of a full water bottle left inside his car.
"That was my 'a-ha' moment. I thought 'wow, free energy'. Then I lay awake at night thinking about how I could dispense that water as a shower or use when my family go camping."
What came next was an involved process exploring fluid dynamics, patents, medical-grade and anti-microbial silicones, vortex engineering and gravity feeds.
The resulting product is made by a specialist manufacturer in Melbourne and retails for $24.99, including a hanging strap.
Mr Mason said his "greater good" motivator had come from a background working for NGOs.
"So all of that was almost setting me up for this, and I want to do good things in the world."
Mr Mason has also partnered with the Surfrider Foundation who align with his philosophy of stopping plastics going into landfill or the wider environment as rubbish.
WHAT IS IT?
The SpaTap is a device that attaches to plastic water bottles.
When turned upside down, water gravity feeds out of the silicone device as a shower spray.
It can be turned on or off with a plug stopper.
Find it on Kickstarter here