Bill Gates revolutionized the computing world with Windows and now, instead of moving on to the related field of Doors, or Fake Wood Paneling, he is now turning some of his attention to reinventing the toilet. He’ll probably do a good job too; his experience with Microsoft Operating Systems makes him uniquely qualified to deal with crap. Zing. Kidding aside, Gates’ new $42 million Reinventing the Toilet Challenge is actually a social-conscious, altruistic attempt to bring higher levels of sanitation to developing countries, where easily preventable illnesses cost millions of lives each year, mostly those of infants.
As part of this campaign, the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is putting out the call to, and coughing up the funding for, eight different research universities that will be trying to develop the “new” toilet. His goals for this new toilet are none-to-simple either. The perfect candidate will be able to take in waste and produce clean water, energy and/or nutrients all without electricity, running water or a sewer system at its disposal(ha!). Oh and also, they need to be easy to install and can’t cost more than $0.05 a day to maintain. Ready? Go! If he can get someone to pull of that kind of miracle, I would really love to see him tackle something like the wheel, or a stable operating system.
I do run Windows, by the way. Check out a punny, slightly gross, but informational promo-video for the project below.