2012-12-10

Co.Exist

Forget Brita: Building A Better Water Filter

The new Soma water filter will clean your water in style, and also remind you to actually change the filter, so that you clean your water at all.

Soma cofounders Mike Del Ponte and Ido Leffler were sitting around talking about water when the thought came to them: Why do we have to settle for poorly designed water filters? Where is the water filter with that sleek, minimalist Apple feel? Del Ponte, the founder of Sparkseed, and Leffler, the founder of Yes to Carrots, think they’ve created it with Soma, a Jony Ive-inspired water filter that you can help fund on Kickstarter.

Think of water filtration systems and the Brita brand probably comes to mind. It’s popular for a reason, but like all products, Brita systems have their downsides--the lids sometimes fall off while you’re pouring water, the individual filters have to be thrown away after every use, black flakes of activated carbon can show in water, and--this isn’t really Brita’s fault--many people are too lazy to replace their filters in a timely manner, rendering the whole contraption useless.

The new filtration system, which they call Soma, features a glass carafe and compostable water filters made out of vegan silk, Malaysian coconut, and PLA food-based plastic. It’s about as minimalist as you can get--there isn’t even a handle--and we can safely say that’s sleeker than Brita’s clunky-looking systems.

Del Ponte and Leffler tapped David Beeman, a so-called "water designer" who has worked with companies like Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, and Keurig on water filtration, to create the filters (for more on Beeman’s work, check out this story). We haven’t had the chance to taste Soma-filtered water, but we’re guessing it’s good--Beeman is well-known for his filtration skills.

Other user experience-enhancing features, according to Soma: a carafe with contours that perfectly fit hands, a beveled edge to prevent spilling, and--this is our favorite--a subscription service for the filters. Every two months, a new filter is delivered. There is no longer an excuse for leaving dirty filters in your water.

It’s hard for us to evaluate Soma’s claims without testing the filter, but plenty of people seem to trust that the company will deliver. At the time of writing, Soma had raised $56,373 on Kickstarter, with 36 days left to reach a $100,000 goal. All the $45 early bird special filters are sold out. Other options (including $50 for the carafe and a six-month filter subscription) are still available.

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12 Comments

  • Oleg Gouriev

    SIBROM stands for: Sapphire Integrated Biological Reverse Osmosis Membrane. Like the name suggests, raw water is first treated through a sophisticated series of biological filters before passing through an array of reverse osmosis (RO) filters. The result is highly purified, biologically stable water that conforms to the most rigorous water quality standards in the world.

    www.sapphire-water.ca/products

  • Oleg Gouriev

    SIBROM stands for: Sapphire Integrated Biological Reverse Osmosis Membrane. Like the name suggests, raw water is first treated through a sophisticated series of biological filters before passing through an array of reverse osmosis (RO) filters. The result is highly purified, biologically stable water that conforms to the most rigorous water quality standards in the world.

    <a href="http://www.sapphire-water.ca/products"> Sapphire Water</a>

  • Jim Thorpe

     who is that 34 year old doofus in the wool knit cap.  shave your face, get a job, stop living at home.

  • AquasafeSystems

    These systems are alright, if you are concerned about chlorine in your water, and maybe the occasional floating piece of dirt, but when it comes to the problem of removing other chemicals, toxins, pharmaceuticals, and radiation, these systems do not cut it. And Brita is not a filtration system, just a water filter like this one. Also, after research, this system doesn't have any numbers posted, so may not even be as good as the Brita. These days,  water purification systems such as reverse osmosis is needed. Purification systems will remove most or all chemicals and toxins in your water including all pharmaceuticals. And reverse osmosis is the only system to remove radiation, which continues to rain down on us from Japan. You may feel your water is safe, but a little research will show some shocking results. 

  • greensburgher

    Not sure that stealing every design element of the Chemex is "innovation"

  • bwj

    If you're using your Chemex to filter and store drinking water, how are you going to brew your coffee? 

  • greensburgher

    I agree that the filter's form, material and mechanism are all interesting and innovative. But if I could just subscribe to receive the filters and place it in my Chemex and achieve the same result, then the hourglass design didn't create an inspired deviation, it just made a copy.

    I applaud the video for emphasizing the filter mechanism, and I freely admit that it looks nice on the counter. But apart from the filter, this video and article say a lot to achieve very little.

    For instance, the article says that the filter reminds you to change it. Frankly, it doesn't. A box shows up at your door, the hidden cost of which dramatically offsets (no, not mitigates) the eco-friendliness of the filter. 

  • bwj

    Does your Chemex filter water? Mine doesn't (unless you count the resulting coffee). The form may have been heavily inspired by the Chemex, but Dr. Schlumbohm didn't invent the hourglass shape. The water filter itself IS innovative when compared to the others currently available.