The first thing I thought was: "That would be a bi*ch to portage eh?" Sorry it's the canoeist in me.
I think there was another guy who made emergency shelters out of cardboard (nice looking too). His idea was really quite philanthropic and his orignal idea was to make them availible to homeless and refugees, but I think he's still struggling with costs... I wonder how much this cement one costs, and how 'portable' is the package is?
Nice. I would guess the tents are fairly heavy, not suitable for hand carrying. But anywhere a truck can go, it could take several of these easily. A small 4x4 could probably deliver a couple dozen of these in one trip, which would be a huge improvement over the current possibilities.
Someone I knew in college was working on a deployable structure for her senior thesis. She was working on a similar concept, except she was looking for a more complete package to be trucked in and dropped off one at a time. She'd taken a metal shipping container and cut out one part of the side to swing open and allow a section to be popped out, as well as another pop out that slid out the existing front opening. Furniture was included already, as well as space for a complete kitchen and an RV-style bathroom.
I heard she was getting some interested offers in her design from some people, but I don't know if they ever picked up the idea.
I suspect the main motivator here is housing for disaster relief that offers more protection from weather than a tent, and is a bit more long term. In this context 172 square feet, as an initial implementation, isn't too bad. Also clustering of multiple 172 square feet units could create the effect of a larger house built around a small central open area that could be covered with a tarpaulin.
Sounds like a pretty cool idea....
But what about rainy climates... could be tough to find a long enough period of time to let it dry out in a plase like Costa Rica...
And doesn't it look kinda small???? I mean bag size v. dome size? hm...
just some thoughts.