Introduction into Apas Universe.
The importance of water in a person’s life cannot be undervalued. After all, it is the source of all life on our planet, a necessity for the existence of all living beings.
For a normal life, people need to consume a sufficient amount of water daily. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the issue of quality and the availability of drinking water is becoming more relevant every year.
Regarding the sources of drinking water, there are two: urban water supply systems and bottled water. Both sources are far from ideal.
Due to growing urbanization every year and the rampant increase in agglomeration, the urban infrastructure of developed countries is fraught with the danger of pollution. In developing countries, in fact, urban infrastructure completely absent, not keeping pace with population growth. Moreover, when 4 billion gallons of drinking water per day are needed for all mankind, 17 billion gallons of drinking water are lost daily in water supply systems as a result of leaks.
In a situation when there is no possibility of getting drinking water from the tap, bottled water comes to the rescue. It is one of the most in-demand everyday goods in the world. The bottled water market grows annually by 8%, which is predicted to make it more than 280 billion dollars by 2020. However, approximately 66% of all bottled water is sold in a half-liter container; this is the lion’s share of a million plastic bottles sold in the world per minute. Less than a fourth of these bottles will be recycled, the rest will simply become trash. Discussion regarding the problem of plastic bottles has already emerged from environmentalists and has grown into a serious public debate.
Taking into account the importance of environmental problems, one must understand that water is vital for people, and often only bottled water is the only accessible option, so with simple prohibitive measures nothing will be achieved.
It is necessary to factor in the population growth of our planet in regards to the aforementioned problems. Along with population growth, the anthropogenic influence on water resources also increases, the quality and quantity of which decreases every year. Simply put, there needs to be more water, under conditions where it is becoming less and less. Even if we do not take seriously the predictions that water will become commodities in the near future, we understand that its value will grow every year.
By 2023 the world’s population will reach 8 billion people. About half will experience water stress. This problem actualizes the need to create a new integrated infrastructure for obtaining drinking water. And we are not talking about private solutions in the form of filters or ecological packaging, which, alas, will not help humanity.
During the process of working on creating the concept of the future system, it became clear to us that it was necessary to solve such large-scale problems from the field of information gathering. First of all, well we decided to find out how people drink water. What we found led us to creating Monolith, a smart water cooler. In creating it, we aimed to realize the ideal user experience of water consumption, as simple and convenient as possible.
This was the first step in our long journey. Monolith is a product that will become the basis for a future system that includes both hardware-based devices and software solutions.
Step by step an ecosystem will be built around it: thermo-mugs and bottles with personal labels, a new type of packaging, storage systems, applications for mobile phones, integration with satellite services and so on. After enough data with consumption patterns has been accumulated, work will begin on horizontal and vertical growth of the system, including, the street version of the cooler will be created, with all the accompanying elements.
The result of our work will be an infrastructure solution, the central element of which will be the access point for drinking water, let’s call it a cooler. There will be several types of coolers: personal; designed for one or more users, public; located for example in a shopping center, or street; located in a residential area or vice versa somewhere outside the city.
Water will enter the cooler in several ways: improved 3–5 gallon bottles can be used in households, the public can have periodically replenished volumetric storage, or immediately be connected directly to the source — imagine that you have drilled a well in your suburban area and put a cooler, which has a built-in water purification system. At the same time, locality of water is an important point; expensive logistics are the reason that, as a rule, everywhere water has a local origin. Accordingly, the whole system will be decentralised and will unite a large number of participants of all kinds; from the owner of a small well, from which several neighbouring houses use water, to companies engaged in deliveries to dozens of coolers.
Internal processes, such as water delivery, accessories, maintenance of coolers, will be carried out according to the Uber-model: anyone can take a certain number of tasks inside the system and get a reward for it, which can be converted into water, which will make it more accessible. The use of reusable bottles and canisters will make it possible to eliminate the use of disposable bottles, and the analysis of events in the system will allow for the optimisation of supply processes, which will increase the efficiency of water use.
Integration with health trackers will become a source of large data on the impact of water on health and will improve the health status of each user through personal recommendations. The human body consists of 70% water, and controlling its presence in the body is no less a priority than monitoring the pulse or blood pressure.
Ultimately, we strive to make drinking water easy and convenient to allow people to improve their health, while at the same time helping to protect the environment.