Thursday, March 31, 2016

'Scientifically impossible' underwater breathing device raises £580,000 online !

The world's first 'artificial gills' technology for breathing & swimming underwater ?
A possible hoax.

From The Telegraph by

An Indiegogo campaign has managed to raise almost half a million pounds for a device that claims to let you breathe underwater for 45 minutes, despite experts claiming it is scientifically impossible.
 People have donated nearly $850,000 (£595,000) to the device known as Triton in their excitement - despite scientists' belief the invention cannot work in its current form.
Described as the "future of underwater breathing" the artificial gills supposedly help you breathe at a maximum depth of 15ft underwater, for a full 45 minutes.
Instead of the bulky and heavy equipment currently used by divers, at 11 inches the device is the length of a snorkel, and took two years to develop, according to its founders.

How it works

According to the Swedish company behind it, Triton uses a "micro-porous" technology to filter and extract oxygen from water.
This means that the holes of water filter threads are smaller than water molecules, designed to "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," the company added.
"It's not realistic, it's science fiction," Neal Pollock, a research associate at the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology at Duke University Medical Center, told technology blog TechInsider.
"I would not encourage anyone pulling out a wallet."
According to the project's crowdfunding page, the three co-founders are trained in design, business and marketing, without any particular expertise in physics, physiology or engineering.

Triton claims its oxygen respirator allows you to breathe underwater by utilizing the Artificial gills technology. A fully-charged battery enables 45 minutes of underwater pleasure...

The scientific problems

According to experts, including marine biologist and diver Alistair Dove, the Triton would need to filter roughly 90 litres of water per minute in order to provide enough oxygen for a diver to breathe, requiring a powerful water pump.
As a Reddit user pointed out, using public data, a typical garden hose will pump about 35 litres a minute, so you would need nearly three garden hoses full of water flowing through the device, which would be impossible given its size.
Additionally, according to a schematic diagram of the Triton, there is no water pump at all.
In response to the Telegraph's questions, co-founder and CEO Saeed Khademi said: "We have a regulator that makes Triton deliver enough oxygen to the swimmer, each part has been developed with a water/diving expert."
He did not respond to questions about the lack of a water pump or how this "regulator" works.

The calculations also assume that the Triton is 100 per cent efficient at extracting oxygen from water, which Khademi was unable to confirm to the Telegraph.
Experts have also expressed concerns that this device would require a battery more efficient than anything that currently exists, but Khademi could not confirm this.
He said: "We will release new information later this year when we have the patents on the rest [of the] components on how Triton works."
"Each one [of these issues] individually is almost insurmountable with a unit that small," Pollock said.
This is hardly the first time crowdfunded products fail to live up to the hype.
Voice-activated smartwatch Kreyos failed to even keep time when it eventually shipped, while Toronto-based Tellspec claimed it had made a tiny scanner that could tell you what was in your food, but had to admit its original video was not real.
The Triton may eventually be the device every diving enthusiast has been waiting for when it ships in December 2016 - but perhaps don't rely on it to survive underwater just yet.

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