In case you haven't heard, billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates is on a mission to reinvent the world's toilets. According to the Gates Foundation, 2.6 billion people in the world lack access to safe and affordable sanitation. And this clip below pretty much explains why that's a huge problem:

Back in August 2011, the Microsoft chief had invited innovators to create a product that could function without water pipes, a sewer connection or outside electricity, while costing less than 5 cents per day to use. The eight universities that presented at the fair had received a cumulative $400,000 to develop their prototypes.

Fast forward to today, where the designs and working prototypes of eight design finalists from around the world were put on display during the Reinvent the Toilet Fair held in Seattle, Washington. California Institute of Technology was granted the top prize of $100,000 for their solar-powered toilet model that generates hydrogen and electricity.


In second place, UK”s Loughborough University won $60,000 for its toilet that produces biological charcoal, minerals and clean water. And the third spot with a $40,000 prize went to the University of Toronto for its toilet that sanitizes human waste. Other prototypes presented at the fair include a toilet powered by the sun that generates cooking gas and a toilet that turns waste into electricity.

via Mashable