Even out here in the desert of El Paso, with very low humidity, it's managed to trap a goodly amount of water in it's reservoir from my closet. I thought it may help eliminate odors caused by using that closet as a dirty cloths hamper. It has!
I doubt you could safely drink the water absorbed by the calcium chloride dihydrate (Orpheus should know about that), but the device says to empty the water contents into the sink when it's used up, and not to allow it to come in contact with skin. It's an irritant, but is non-toxic.
However, this simple device clearly demonstrates how simple it is to trap the relative atmospheric humidity, and store it for periods of time. I need one in my bathroom to trap excess moisture there, as there are no windows to allow ventilation after showers. Even in the desert, that excess moisture can promote mold and mildew.
I think if a device could be made like the one Orpheus has described above, it would have many good uses. Don't survivalists use plastic sheets wrapped around plants to catch the condensation that occurs there with temperature shifts? I haven't read the MIT article yet, but I assume the scientists are looking for a chemical and/or mechanical way to aid in that reaction somehow? I'll read later, and ask more questions. It's an idea that could save lives, so it's worth a little extra time and effort.
Edited by Mark, 24 November 2012 - 01:37 AM.