It All Starts With Technology
How has technology made our lives simpler, and why do we need technology for even the simplest things in life? Hella Frenkel, Director of InnovativeTechnologies at Strauss Water, has the answers with a glimpse at the future.
The period we live in, the environment and our lifestyle inundate us with technology on all sides.
Thanks to technology, a basic product like laundry detergent becomes an advanced product with enzymatic properties that remove (biodegrade) stains, cosmetics offer us the possibility of staying young thanks to innovative biotechnological approaches, green technologies for enhanced performance and energy conservation are integrated in our cars, sophisticated communication technologies in smartphones and computers enable us to be perpetually connected and up-to-date and to control our lives, and the examples are many. In every interaction in the course of our daily routine we encounter different, diverse technologies designed to serve us and to allow us to benefit from next-generation products thanks to technological progress – better, faster, stronger, smaller and more personal – for me and only for me.
From prehistoric man to technological innovation
The word “technology” originates in ancient Greek: techne means art, skill, craft or the way, manner or means by which a thing is gained; logos means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed. So literally, technology means words or discourse about the way things are gained. The term evolved over the centuries and today refers to a field which deals in the search for, invention and implementation of practical solutions in response to a desire, need or demand. Technology uses knowledge and insights for the benefit of innovation. Most of us don’t understand much about the technology itself, but we all benefit from its fruits – a better, higher-quality product (or service) which improves the quality of our lives.
Technology is a dynamic, developing and endless sphere which touches on every area of our lives, even if we aren’t really aware of it – learning methods, drugs, food, roads, water, hi-tech, etc. Technologies, which in the past were considered a breakthrough, are today taken for granted and form the basis for familiar, everyday products.
Man has engaged in technology since the dawn of history. In the ancient era this was based on trial and error without the scientific knowledge, the goal being survival and improving the basic way of life. Later on, man learned how to enlist the forces of nature to develop technologies to resolve everyday needs, or to gain competitive advantages in his immediate surroundings. Over the years, technology has provided a response to increasingly progressive needs of society – trade, social needs and others.
By applying thinking processes and developing scientific insights, man succeeded in finding more efficient solutions to existing processes. Technological progress led to the development of new needs, and, naturally, created a circle of positive feedback – more learning, research and development of the next generation of technology, which by nature nurtures itself, and technologies developed for a particular field are applied in many other fields as well.
The Industrial Revolution led to a surge of technological solutions in the modern world – a roll which has not stopped to this very day. Today, technology is forward-looking and seeks to address future solutions to consumer needs. The world we live in has become a manmade world in which our environment and quality of life are shaped thanks to, because of and by technology, which impacts all of our everyday behavior, including the basic necessities for our survival – food and water.
As far as water is concerned, the forecasts are not optimistic – a shortage of available, safe water, while water technologies must provide a response to the essentially different global gaps of both developed and developing countries.
What does technology have to do with water?
Water. Yes, water. The technology in the most basic necessity for life is immense, and its power is expressed in that very simple action that we all take for granted: getting up in the morning, washing our faces, drinking a glass of great tasting, safe water by turning on the tap or pressing a button. Behind this simple action is a great deal of technology. Pumping, treating the facilities, monitoring and control, analysis, water treatment substances, transportation, piping, supervision and measurement – all are advanced technologies designed to enable us to enjoy a glass of water.
In water as well, technological developments focus on the future product and on how we can adjust to a changing environment in order to deliver the next product in a timely manner, at the time and price that suit the progressive, ever-changing customer.
As far as water is concerned, the forecasts are not optimistic – a shortage of available, safe water, while water technologies must provide a response to the essentially different global gaps of both developed and developing countries. Technologies enable us to make safer water accessible by using advanced purification substances that will make it drinkable, faster water quality monitoring methods, technologies to prevent waste and assure use that is more efficient and effective, technologies for the location of leaks in transportation systems, green technologies that reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the list is yet a long one.
At the top of the water consumption pyramid is the "Queen of Water" – home drinking and cooking water, which accounts for 2%-3% of household water consumption. This water requires special treatment. It must be safer, tastier and more available. This treatment is expressed in companies like Strauss Water, which provides high quality drinking solutions thanks to technology and by incorporating lifestyle trends.
The future is here
The clear trend in the technology-intensive products of today and the future product generation is the combination of the designer product's appearance and its compatibility with the home environment and the trend of availability and immediacy, along with the appliance's operation at the touch of a button, by remote control or by sliding a finger across the screen.
The basis for these developments is the need for personal customization based on individual needs, and knowledge of the consumer's consumption habits. Each consumer will get something that is uniquely and personally tailored and sets him apart, a "smart personal space" that serves him and him alone.
This trend started in products in the past few years, by defining the water temperature that suits me, defining the amount of water poured into my cup of coffee; when I get up in the morning the water will be ready and waiting for me at the exact temperature I like my coffee, etc. That's where the world is headed, and we're already there.
And what about the quality of the water itself? That's the foundation. Water treatment technologies must ensure that customers get the best quality, safest water, a water purification solution that is free of uncertainties. We are happy to say that technological progress and the integration of technologies guarantee high-quality water purification, so that we can enjoy water that is safe, free of chemical and microbiological contaminants. One thing's for sure – the products of the future will guarantee safe use and a perfect experience, meaning that in the mad race of our technological lives, only companies that are able to deliver the "next technology" in the "next product" will survive.