Respirator concept could give you your own set of gills

Credit: Jeabyun Yeon

The ocean has been described as our world's final frontier. For everything we know about the vast blue expanse that covers 71 percent of our globe, far more remains uncovered. As you probably know, humans don't breathe so well when you take away our oxygen. A new concept straight out of James Bond's bag of tricks aims to correct this evolutionary oversight.

Aptly called the Triton, this diminutive respirator is designed to offer you an indefinite stay under the waves — er, and alive. All you have to do is bite down on the mouth piece and breathe and oxygen will fill your lungs, even though you're not carrying a tank of the stuff on your back. The Triton actually functions just like your own set of gills, stripping oxygen from the water around you.

Based on a technology developed by a yet-unnamed Korean scientist, the Triton employs a filter made up of threads woven together too tightly for whole water molecules to pass through. A powerful micro compressor pulls oxygen through the filter, storing it in a small breath-sized tank. The only limit to your stay under the waves is how long the next-gen battery that powers the compressor can keep your gills working.

Supposedly, the battery in question is 30 times more compact than current off-the-shelf tech and can also charge 1,000 times faster. That, along with a couple other details of the Triton Respirator, sounds a bit fishy, but if this concept makes it through to testing, we'd love to take the plunge.

Jeabyun Yeon, via Inhabitat

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