Humans have been able to swim underwater safely for decades using equipment like SCUBA gear. But that type of underwater apparatus can be expensive and difficult to use. What if a swimmer could just put on a simple mask-like device that would allow him to breathe underwater without the need for oxygen tanks or other bulky gear? The developers of the Triton Artificial Gill Re-Breather are hoping to answer that question.
The Triton team has created a prototype “artificial gill” system. This so-called “re-breather” uses a special respirator that a swimmer holds in their mouth to be used with an attendant mask that covers the eyes and nose. Triton claims that this system will allow a swimmer to safely breathe underwater for up to 45 minutes without the need for external oxygen tanks or other breathing equipment. The artificial gills are made from microporous hollow fiber that keeps water out but allows oxygen to pass. A powerful lithium-ion battery then runs a compressor that feeds a small onboard oxygen tank, making it possible to breathe underwater.
Triton is launching its re-breather thru an Indiegogo campaign that’s been wildly successful. The team was hoping to raise $50,000 and the campaign has already taken in more than $800,000 in pledges. A contribution of $299 will net you a production-model re-breather and save you $100 on the expected retail price.