In an effort to make safe drinking water available to everyone, we created Droplet: a wearable water purification device in the form of a bracelet.
Droplet Team Information
Where are you based? Where are each of you from/where did you grow up?
Jesica: Based in San Francisco, CA but currently working as a Creative Technologist at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland. I grew up in a small desert town in Southern California near Joshua Tree National Park, called Twentynine Palms.
Chen Liang: Based in Portland. Born in Taiyuan, China and grew up there, Salt Lake City UT, Memphis TN, Charlottesville VA, Chapel Hill NC, Virginia Beach VA.
What does Droplet do?
Droplet purifies water for safe drinking in developing countries, where clean water supply levels are low. Droplet is designed for anyone to wear around one’s wrist. It contains a UV purifying light bulb that when placed in a container of collected water, the UV light emitted kills contaminants and disease-causing bacteria in minutes. Droplet is also data driven to help prevent future water-related issues by saving information about water contaminants, bacteria, amounts of water consumed, and location of where specific water was collected.
What is the problem Droplet helps to solve?
Millions of people living in developing countries need access to clean water and a solution for living a healthier life with the limited resources available. Droplet would make a tremendous impact by making water safe to drink, while collecting bacteria/contaminant data to help prevent water-borne diseases. Doctors and researchers would able to study and analyze the data to track patterns of human symptoms relating to diseases. Safe water would also be more accessible to communities, and women and children will be able to spend more time working to earn an income and gaining an education in school.
How did you hear about the challenge and what inspired you to enter?
We heard about the challenge through frog’s website. We were inspired to enter the challenge because as creatives and technologists, we thought it would be a fun process to work together and try to solve one of the problem areas.
What was the toughest challenge you faced and how did you deal with it?
The toughest challenge we’ve faced is trying to figure out the data collection part of the device. The challenge will be how to make a delicate data collection system fit and be able to transport information using a minimal amount of energy and space. We will need to hone in on what data we will be able to collect and the process of data analysis. Another challenge so far and also moving forward will be figuring out how to make Droplet a sustainable inexpensive product that can be easily mass produced. There are many water purification systems in the world, but few that are as easy to transport and can be efficiently produced.
What do you feel the next phase of the challenge, working with industry mentors, will bring to your design?
With the mentorship of industry professionals, we believe that we can gain a new perspective on our idea and improve our design with their advice. We are hoping to hear about their past work and experience with design and technology and learn from their knowledge. We are excited to see our idea transform from initial sketches and designs into a new enhanced product.
What other projects are you working on? We are eager to know!
We are currently just trying to research and learn about current topics in design and technology, but no project in specific. We are always interested in seeing innovative ideas that technology companies are releasing.