Entrepreneurs are known to spend extensive amounts of time researching the marketplace for their new products, but even so, sometimes a surprising market pops up out of the blue—or in this case, out of thin air. First formed as the result of a class project amongst peers in college, Texas-based AtmoSpark is a water generation company that set out to provide clean drinking water in places of scarcity—such as, developing third world countries, remote areas without running water, even disaster relief aid—and ended up also attracting the attention of sailors, racers, and boaters with its new watermaker, BluElement.
“As we started to display the prototype around the country, after every show we noticed that a lot of the people that stayed and chatted with us were RVers or boaters, asking questions about the tech and whether it could be used onboard,” explains co-founder Matt Bukovicky, who recently made rounds at the Seattle Boat Show in February. “Frankly it wasn’t a market that was originally high on our list, but we soon realized we had a solution for them as well.”
The solution: AtmoSpark’s BluElement produces potable drinking water from the humidity found in the air; there’s no need for water lines, no pumping sea water, no pressure system, and no need to lug heavy and wasteful water bottles. Co-founder Dr. Aniket Khade, director of engineering, explains the system pulls in ambient air and runs it through an electrical charge that increases the humidity of that air, which then produces water droplets. “Much like solar power provides independence, this system allows you to take control of your water, whether that is offshore on a boat, or in places where it is scarce, like in my home country of India,” he adds.
Earlier this year, AtmoSpark opened pre-orders for the first prototype, which currently can output 3-5 gallons of water per day, depending on the ecology of the air. Consumers can expect to see a model by mid-summer. And while this first iteration weighs in at around 50 pounds, Bukovicky and Khade say they expect to lighten the load in subsequent models by re-evaluating the casing materials.
“This type of hassle-free device is what we have been looking for,” says David Gallimore, a longtime racer with the Corinthian Yacht Club in Seattle and a fan of the space-saving device. “It opens doors to more people looking for a more relaxing and pleasurable experience.”
For more details on AtmoSpark, or to order your own model, go to: atmosparktech.com.