It’s always fun to dream. But the Triton Gill rebreather system lighting up Indiegogo? The science doesn’t add up, and neither does the history.
It’s unfortunate too, because who doesn’t want to go all Qui-Gon and harpoon Jar Jar Binks? Hey, we are dreaming. May as well go all out.
Triton Artificial Gills
The company is claiming you can spend 45 minutes underwater at a max depth of 15 feet. No air tank. No snorkel. Just you and the fish. Ok, you have me Triton. How does it work?
According to the team, which lacks any science background, the Triton uses a modified micro compressor to pull in the oxygen from the water and store it in an extremely small tank.
Powered by a Li-Ion battery, you can swim with the dolphins for nearly an hour. Just don’t let them take you below 15 feet.
All for the low price of $300 if you pledge today.
Science Sinks Triton
Unless a graphic designer, marketing guy and an entrepreneur have unlocked new technology, science torpedoes their creation. It sucks, but the numbers don’t add up with the footprint Triton advertises.
The Triton first tried to launch in 2014 and was met with outright incredulity. A DeepSeaNews piece deconstructs the issue with the Triton.
The average person sitting on the couch breathes around 15 times per minute at 500 mls per breath on average. Never known swimming or diving to be less strenuous than Netflix, but let’s give Triton that.
Going deep science on you, the 500 mls breaks down as 21 percent oxygen coming in, around 16 percent on the exhale. All total, you chilling on the couch strips about 5 percent of pure O2 or 25 mls.
Breaking it down by volume weight, each breath contains 35.52mg of oxygen. That’s what you’re breathing in right now on average.
Told you science is fun. Ok, that’s sitting on the couch breathing while watching ESPN. Let’s go diving. Ocean waters here on our blue marble? You’re looking at 6mg/L of ocean water.
Perfect scenario of the Triton extracting oxygen from the surrounding water would entail nearly 6L of water. Using the absorption method the Triton has, that’s not likely.
It gets worse.
That’s one breath. Remember, we take on average, 15 breaths per minute. That’s 90L of water the Trion has to filter out per minute. Into oxygen. Store it. And somehow keep the 45-minute battery life with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery.
In that small of a device. Hey, I want it to be real too. And maybe they invented something incredibly badass.
Other Red Flags
Notice the concept art? It’s the same in 2014 as it is today. In two years, nothing has changed on the product. There probably isn’t a working prototype and Indiegogo campaigns do not require one.
Then, there is the video shown. You get a max of someone underwater for a minute with the purported Triton. Multiple outlets and I have reached out asking for a longer, uncut video, but there’s been no response.
In the comments, the Triton team have promised a video showing the concept working within a week. Not sure why it takes a week. No one cares about slick marketing.
If the team shows a working device as small as the Triton, we are all sold. Hell, it doesn’t even need to be that small. It doesn’t even have to look like the concept art. It’s about the technology.
Trust me; it can be a damn box with a mouthpiece. If there’s a 10+ minute video of someone breathing in and out underwater with anything resembling the Triton, the $800K you’ve raised? You’ll break Indiegogo’s servers with pledges.
Until the video, the Triton will remain relegated to waters of Naboo and James Bond films.