TRITON - Human Gills
Diving free of cumbersome tanks and lines, and with an unlimited underwater air supply? That's like...like...making love out of nothing at all. Unfathomable! And although human gills are indeed a ways away from sporting goods store shelves, with his TRITON oxygen respirator concept, Samsung Art & Design Institute student Jeabyun Yeon may ultimately prove himself to be the game-changing Australian soft rock duo of the industrial design world.
Yeon proposes a solution both to humans' natural inability to breathe underwater, and the complexity of learning to operate/using assistive apparatuses, such as SCUBA gear. His TRITON mouthpiece aims to eliminate both the extensive equipment and the restrictions by enabling subsurface breathing just by biting its pliable insert. In addition, the TRITON is designed to be a portal oxygen respirator, which means those wearing one would breathe just as they do on land, rather than learning to consciously and deliberately breathe in and out when the device is in place.
TRITON would incorporate artificial gill technology, which Yeon claims is in development in Korea, as its primary feature. A filter on the mask would extract oxygen while under water with a collection of fine threads whose holes are smaller than water molecules. From there, a tiny, powerful micro compressor would condense and store the extracted oxygen in a compact holding tank for continuous access over a very long period of time. Limits would be due only to the micro compressor's micro battery, again a piece of next-generation technology. It is anticipated to be 30 times smaller than current options, and capable of charging 1,000 times faster.
Later That Day Update: For those who aren't familiar with it, the virtual gallery displaying Yeon's TRITON is Behance. Behance is a venue for artists and designers--particularly students--to showcase their projects and ideas, generate interest and support, build networks, and potentially attract investors. Many of these products still exist only as prototypes or concepts, but the work their creators have put into them certainly places them beyond the stage of All Talk & No Action that people such as myself will thrive in forever.