I remember as a kid my parents saying “money doesn’t just pop out of thin air you know” which is interesting because in recent times the technology has been invented to create resources out of thin air, thus making the need for money possibly redundant.

Electricity from thin air:
A team of scientists from USA have come up with a cool little device they call the “air-gen” which creates electricity from the moisture found in air. A naturally occurring microbe produces electrically conductive protein nanowires. By tapping these nanowires using electrodes, the device can generate enough electricity to power small electronics.
Given the project is still in its infancy the team behind the discovery are planning to use the ‘air-gen’ in a commercial application to charge small electronic devices such as phones or wearables, however in the future once the tech has matured, we might be able to see this technology implemented into paint to power the home.

Food from thin air:
In Finland, scientists are making an entirely new ingredient out of air, water and electricity — and they hope it could revolutionise the way our food is produced. At its pilot plant, the start-up is developing a new natural source of protein it calls Solein. Like other protein supplements, it has no discernible taste and can be added to almost any snack or meal. But Solar Foods says its product will have have a tiny carbon footprint.

Solar Foods makes hydrogen by applying electricity to water, and sources carbon dioxide by extracting it from air. You end up with a powder that is about 65 percent protein and carbs and fats, and that powder could be added to things like bread and pasta, or to plant-based meat or dairy substitutes.

Water from thin air:
Dehumidifiers are nothing new, most of us are well and truly used to having machines sucking moisture out of the air, but new technology exists that makes that water drinkable, which could solve a huge issue for areas that lack the infrastructure for potable water. Our atmosphere is full of water vapour, which turns into condensation in cooler temperatures. We often see this effect in the summer, when water droplets collect on the outside of an ice-cold glass.These machine generators harness this same technology by pulling air from the atmosphere, condensing it into water, filtering it for impurities like metal or bacteria, and adding minerals so that it’s drinkable.

So the next time someone tells you that money doesn’t just come from thin air, feel free to have a chuckle, because the way technology is going, it could be only a matter of time.

A futurist and entrepreneur, Kyron helps social entrepreneurs, change makers and everyday heroes to create freedom so they can stop working to make a living.