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Simple Things

Science has always helped mankind with all it can to make life simpler and healthier. Revolutions happen around the clock from fountain pens to rockets helping humans in one way or the other. Certain innovations are made accidently while some are invented to meet problems but in most of cases they don’t reach the common man quickly or are too pricey for them to afford.

Simple technology and easy-to-use innovations are better in places where energy, education and materials are plentiful.  In developing countries where resources are scarce  it could even be as simple as developing a water bottle but it makes a big difference between life and death. The following are a few innovations which caught my attention while I rambled around the web.

Bottle Light: With state-of-art research and development labs major companies are developing innovation in the light industry but in some parts of the Philippines the people aren’t any where close to thinking or requiring this technology. Lights here are made of water bottles which are filled with water and drops of bleach. This bottle sits comfortably in a roof hole and transforms sunlight into bright day light. This cheap and easy to make light makes a big difference in the life of people who don’t even have electricity.

Cloth filter: In Bangladesh water-borne cholera is a major threat but can be reduced by a simple filtration process. Water is run through a sari (a traditional  Bangladeshi costume) which is folded into four layers. The cotton fibres collect plankton which causes cholera. Researchers who taught this technique to women in remote villages found that the cholera rate dropped 50 % after 17 months.

Adjustable spectacles: People wearing spectacles are familiar with the routine eye test and the drawn-out process of finding the perfect spectacles. Joshua Silver from Oxford University in the UK has made this process simple and more affordable allowing the glasses-wearer to do it all themselves. They simply add or subtract a silicon oil (which is sandwiched in the middle of a lens) until the lens looks clear and focused. The process only takes 2 minutes and these specially-designed spectacles are very adaptable able and affordable.

Lifestraw:  In developing countries people often drink unclean water and become desperately ill. For them Lifestraw is a lifesaver.  Lifestraw is a straw that cleans and filters water as it is sucked up from polluted source. It is small and compact and easy for people to carry with them all time.

These small innovations are a big boon for local people in developing nations.  Small projects like these should be encouraged in developing countries for a better tomorrow.

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