COULD THIS INVENTION SPELL THE END OF AIR TANKS FOR SCUBA DIVERS? – As a keen scuba diver I can tell you that strapping on air tanks is a cumbersome affair.
Obviously once you are in the water you don’t really notice the weight of the tank but getting in and out of the water can sometimes be a struggle.
Now a South Korean designer, Jeabyun Yeon, has come up with an underwater gadget that wouldn’t look out of place in the next James Bond movie; and claims that the days of using an air tank may well soon be a thing of the past.
The device has been dubbed Triton and acts like the gills of a fish in that they extract oxygen from the water, storing it in chambers that then converts it to breathable air.
A standard air tank comprises of 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen; this ratio can be adjusted for deeper dives and is known as ‘nitrox diving’.
Currently for divers who wish to spend longer periods under water and at greater depths a system known as a ‘rebreather’ is used. However, these, along with standard equipment have their limits regarding the safe depths a person can dive without additional deep diving equipment.
In order to use the new Triton device, Jeabyun Yeon claims that the diver would need to bite down on a plastic mouth piece in order to activate the device.
Upon activation, two arms branch out on either side of the scuba mask and then set about sucking in water and separating it of its air which is then stored in tanks for the diver to breathe.
The product is still in the early stages of development but the designer is confident it will work as designed and will be powered by a micro battery; some thirty times smaller than currently available which will also be able to recharge approximately 1,000 times faster.
From a diver’s perspective I think this is a really cool idea and one that would make scuba diving much easier without all the bulky equipment currently needed in order to enjoy the underwater experience.
If you’ve never tried diving but want to give it a go then contact your local PADI or DAN dive centre; diving really is an incredible experience and each dive is completely unique.