The following is an e-mail I sent to someone writing an article about me for a French news paper. I've done a pretty poor job of recording all the articles that have been written about me in languages other than english. Also I'm not really sure if it makes sense to keep posting articles that have been written about the project since they often get a thing or two slightly wrong.
So just as an update and I guess it's a decent summation of the project that I always meant to write anyway - so, here it is:
I’m 29, I live in Vantaa, Finland and I’m an environmental engineer. Right now I do odd jobs when I can, mostly fixing computers but pretty much any random task if fine for me.
I started working on Showerloop in 2009 but it was just an idea for a class project. We had to learn about heat exchangers for a course in thermodynamics. Instead of explaining how a heat exchanger in a car radiator for works that I would just make something up (as I often did for assignments). With my group (Keiran, Timo and myself) we designed a shower would recycle water so kind of like a bath, and with a heat exchanger inside it slowly heat up ‘clean water’ so that in the end of the shower you can use fresh clean warm water to get yourself clean. As part of the presentation I made up a website with graphics and copy write [I think I meant text] and we presented our product ShowerMagic as an Australian Invention (I lived there when I was younger) to gauge the reactions of our classmates. No one realised that we had just made it up [and many thought it was a good idea so it was a really lean pitch with the first positive feedback that started this snowball].
The next year there was a student business competition and we were supposed to get financing for our project but they later deemed it to be impossible because the water wasn’t being cleaned [sufficiently, they thought it was impossible - the fools] . So it ended there, but another 2 years later, so in late 2012 we started our bachelors thesis with Keiran Holland (who was also in the thermodynamics class with me) and we focused on designing and testing filters for what we still called ShowerMagic. The thesis [written together] was done in 2013. After this point also Eduard Kobak had joined us and he wrote some software to allow us to automatically control valves and things for his Master thesis and we have been collaborating ever since.
The project has no end in sight, there’s still so many possibilities to explore with what we could do with the tech and the concept. So far, many people have helped in the project, like Patrizia who helped us find a new product name and Anup who tested the filter for soaps and shampoo filtration. Before that we had 6 first year students who actually built the first prototype of the filter - I didn't work under pressure but we've learned a lot about it since then and they did lots of innovative stuff on 0 budget. I’d say that I’m the only one doing it full-time and Eduard helps when he can. I would really like to be able to hire him so we could finish our work sooner. Recently two interns joined the team until the summer and two more friends are starting to chip in to finalise the first version of Showerloop.
I applied for POC21 because it looked like a good opportunity to really finish the project. In the past we’ve been limited with resources - materials, tools, and time… POC21 was offering exactly what I needed.
I like love hate how wrapped up I’ve become in the project. Often if I see a problem I instantly can come up with a possible solution to it, but I have no way of making it real. With Showerloop it was a learning experience to actually stick to one idea and work on it until it was done. Because of Showerloop I’ve been able to travel to different countries to join student competitions and work exchange programmes and things like that, usually with most or all expenses paid which has been really great when I have very little income. Last year I was part of Climate-KIC’s Pioneers into Practice program and I got to work on energy efficiency on with LEDs and designing a waterhub for slum areas.
I really hope that at POC21 (I guess this was written before I was there) I’ll be able to produce a final beautiful and rhobust version of the shower so that I can release all the plans to everyone. I hope to do a crowdfunding or investing campaign so I can start to build them or the hardest parts (and let you do the rest). I have so many ideas on how we could live more sustainably I really would like to begin to work on more things and so I think OpenSourcing it will let other people improve on what I’ve already done and then I won’t feel too bad if I can’t start a business out of Showerloop, because at least I’ll share the knowledge. But I think the people at POC21 and the Open Source Circular Economy days have already given me so much inspiration and motivation and hope that everything is going to be great!
I think we’ve already got all the technology that we need so that everyone on the planet can live sustainably and with an even higher quality of life than before, we just need to put all the pieces in the right place so they work together as well as they possibly can and Open Source is the fastest and fairest way to do that in my opinion.
I know I’m kind of rambling as I tend to do that and I’m kinda in a hurry to head home since the weekend it starting so I’m not even going to review this, instead I’d be happy if you could ask some follow up questions or if there’s something to clarfy.
Cheers and have a great weekend.