Bill Gates has a nose for the next big thing. It is toilets.
The Bill Gates Foundation awarded prizes a couple days ago to new toilet designs in the Reinvent the Toilet challenge. The winner was a solar powered toilet that makes hydrogen and electricity from your poop. The Harvard Business Review published a report today that describes how huge the market for toilets will be in the coming decades. India alone expects about 400 million people to adopt an urban lifestyle. This would mean India needs about 150 million toilets alone in the next 30 years.
The biggest toilet maker today only makes about 30 million units per year. The big market size for toilets is also an opportunity to actually deploy smarter toilets that are cleaner or are of more use.