“Water stress is a human condition,” says Friesen, who is founder and CEO of Zero Mass Water, the Arizona-based startup that makes Source.

“We want to guarantee access to safe drinking water for every person in the world, and fundamentally change the human relationship to water.”

Zero Mass Water has a long way to go before it can prove it can turn Friesen’s cool tech into a viable business.

In the U.S., his panels are collecting water at a Duke Energy facility in North Carolina, an office building in Santa Monica, Calif., some Bay Area residences, and a handful of homes and schools in Arizona, where despite the low humidity, Source produces roughly the same amount of water as in wetter climates.

There, special nano-materials engineered by Zero Mass absorb the water through a process similar to what makes sugar in an open container clump with humidity.

His work on water led him to found Zero Mass in 2014.

“He’s going to get water out of the air. He’s done it Arizona. I said if he can do it there, he can surely get water out of the air in Kenya or Oakland.”