A utility belt essential for decades, a rebreather has always been depicted as a small tube Batman could whip out and use to breath underwater indefinitely without the need for surfacing or an air tank.
The basic concept being that the rebreather was able to convert the carbon dioxide being exhaled back into breathable air, or filter the surrounding water into oxygen. Not to be outdone in the gadget race, James Bond made use of a rebreather as well.
A company called Triton has made this a reality with their state-of-the-art oxygen respirator. Hardly larger in size than a traditional scuba diving mouthpiece, Triton’s rebreather is small enough to throw in a bag on a trip to the beach, something that can’t be said for traditional scuba gear. The “artificial gill” technology begins when the user bites gently on the device’s mouthpiece which triggers a tiny compressor to begin sucking in water from the two arms on the sides. This draws the water through a specialized membrane that uses tiny holes so small water molecules can’t get through, leaving only oxygen molecules. Small on board liquid oxygen tanks add more oxygen to the stored air until the diver takes a breath, and the process is repeated.
The current version of Triton allows for up to 45 minutes of breathing time at a depth of up to 15ft. What happens if you lose track of time swimming after underwater baddies? The rebreather vibrates and alerts you with a pulsing led light (just like a smartphone) that it’s time to surface and charge the lithium-ion battery.
The Triton can currently be ordered through their Indiegogo campaign page for $299.