The undistinguished looking box stands about waist high, weighs less than 300 lbs and has all the charm of a motel icemaker. But its potential is much greater. It just might be the greatest packaged water treatment plant ever.
The box may become the unsung revolutionary tool that transforms life for great numbers of the world’s population. It is called Slingshot, a vapor compression water purification machine produced by genius inventor Dean Kamen, the man best known as creator of the Segway transporter. Slingshot can produce roughly 30 liters of water an hour using no more energy than required by a standard handheld hair dryer.

Kamen has been developing this technology for more than a decade. The name Slingshot refers to a weapon for defeating a Goliath of a problem. He showed it off on 60 Minutes in 2003. In 2008 he appeared on The Colbert Report, operating a Slingshot on the air and drinking its product.
But this fall, Kamen began the process that may at last get Slingshot machines into the remote villages of the world where it is most needed.

The Slingshot system of vapor compression distillation basically boils and then condenses any dirty water source. It is versatile and can use energy from many sources — a standard electric grid, solar cells, batteries, or even methane from animal dung.

Coca-Cola and DEKA R&D will partner with IDB and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of IDB Group, to initially test the Slingshot technology in health centers and schools in remote communities in Latin America in 2013.

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