In 1997, Miles Maiden created a personal, portable device using UV light to purify water – the same technology used in municipal water treatment plants and hospitals. In 1999, the technology for the first portable UV water purifier was patented and it wasn’t long before SteriPENs were used by outdoor enthusiasts. Today, SteriPEN UV water purifiers set the standard for personal water purification in the outdoor and travel markets.

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Miles Maiden, the founder of Hydro-Photon, Inc. and a dedicated outdoorsman, thought that there were better ways than filters or chemicals to purify water in the wild. After years of research, he dedicated himself to the development of ultraviolet technology – the same technology used in municipal water treatment plants - for use in a personal, portable device that would provide the user with safe drinking water anywhere. Hydro-Photon received its first SteriPEN patent in 1999, followed by patents in 2000 and 2003.
In 1999, the first SteriPEN was sold through REI, and in 2001 TIME Magazine named the SteriPEN one of the “Best Inventions of the Year.” The SteriPEN is now known as the first and fastest portable UV water purifier available. It kills viruses, bacteria and protozoa—including Giardia and Cryptosporidium—in seconds. Its speed, effectiveness and portability have impressed end users and media alike. Backpacker Magazine, Newsweek, and the Today Show have featured SteriPEN as a powerful, user-friendly alternative to pumps, chemicals and filters.