A new Indiegogo campaign, which was able to collect $594,187 (at the time this article went live) or 12 times its target caught our eye. It claims to be the world’s first “Artificial Gills Re-breather” and tells us that it has been featured in big websites like Huffington, Yahoo News, RT and Softpedia. What they fail to mention is the fact that all the ‘reputable’ sites that did mention them, were very skeptical of their claims!
Ok, for those of you who don’t know what we are talking about, lets first ‘enlighten’ you with their ‘claims’. They say that is the world’s first snorkel like device, with ‘artificial gills’ technology for breathing & swimming in upto 15 feet underwater.
The catchy video shows a person in a pool wearing this device (which is very similar to something that was featured in two of James Bond movies, Thunderball and Die Another Day) and swimming underwater and breathing, just like one does with the scuba gear, except, there is no cylinder and no heavy gears in this one.
How does it (supposedly) work?
“Triton employs cutting-edge technology to produce ‘artificial gills’. The Microporous Hollow Fiber makes breathing underwater possible”
“The holes of the threads are smaller than water molecules, they keep water out and let oxygen in. The micro compressor then extracts and stores the oxygen – allowing you to breathe naturally and revel in your underwater freedom.”
“We are using a very powerful modified micro compressor, it compresses oxygen and stores the extracted oxygen in a storage tank. The micro compressor operates through a powerful modified lithium-ion battery.”
Too good to be true? Of course!
First of all, even IF, and thats a big if, it works, you’ll likely die or get seriously ill due to ‘oxygen poisoning‘ (i.e. breathing 100% pure oxygen is not really a good idea). However, we can confidently call it for what it is: excellent marketing, some good video effects and a fraud!
The concept of Triton was floated in late 2013, and even back then, many people caught their lie (notable among those is Alistair Dove from DeepSeaNews.com). It is simply impossible for a device this size, using the methodology it claims, to provide enough oxygen for normal humans to breathe. Here’s why (credit goes to deepseanews.com for the original research)
- A typical human being breathes about 500 ml of air/breath [source]
- Of that 500 ml, 21% is oxygen entering into the lungs, and 16% is oxygen coming out, which means they consume about 5% of the volume of each breath as pure oxygen, or about 25 ml (0.845 fl oz) in volume which is 0.00111 moles or 35.52mg (0.00125 oz)
- On average, sea water contains around 6mg/L of oxygen (in very ideal conditions, rivers can have up to 12mg/L of oxygen)
- So, to provide for one breath of oxygen, the Triton would have to filter 35.52mg/6mgL = 5.92L (12.5 pints) of water, in case if its 100% efficient. If efficiency is below 100%, that amount would increase.
- Human’s breathe around 15 times per minute when resting. Lets assume we are totally calm and resting under water. Therefore to provide for a minute of oxygen, the Triton would have to filter around 89 liters of water per minute or 23.5 gallons. That is under very very ideal conditions. A quarter horsepower motor pumps about 25 gallons of water per minute. This gadget seems much smaller than that pump. The Triton doesn’t even have a pump, it rather relies on swimming and breath suction to create the water flow.
There is no engineer or scientist on the team, they are all businessmen or ‘designers’ aka artists. Also to note is that here is no physical address for Triton mentioned anywhere. So, what will happen to all those people who pitched in their money? If you can claim a refund right now, cool, otherwise too bad. You should have done more research! Here is what Indiegogo have to say in their terms and conditions:
“Indiegogo makes no representations about the quality, safety, morality or legality of any Campaign, Perk or Contribution or the truth or accuracy of User Content (as defined below) posted on the Services. Indiegogo does not represent that Campaign Owners will deliver Perks or that Contributions will be used as described in the Campaign. Users use the Services at their own risk.”
So basically they are screwed. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last. So next time you see anything that is too good to be true (or even something normal on a crowdfunding website) do your due diligence!
- Video editing