Triton underwater breather company has been making waves in recent days (shutup I know it’s a bad pun) after raising over $700,000 through an Indiegogo campaign over just it’s first few days. Their claim to fame is that they have created a revolutionary new underwater breather that will allow users to stay underwater for extended periods of time without the use of bulky SCUBA equipment. Obviously if this new tech works as advertised, the military, scientific, and recreational applications would be huge. They say that they have the technology, they have a decent concept, and now they have some money, so why aren’t we all lining up to shell out ridiculous sums of cash to swim around a la the Jedi in A Phantom Menace? Well, unfortunately unless Triton has somehow secretly made some breakthroughs in both energy efficiency and pulling oxygen out of solution (and we are talking jumps science forward 30 or so years kind of breakthroughs) it’s just not something that can be done with today’s technology.
Before we dive further (ok that one was an accident) into the issues with the science, there are quite a few other red flags surrounding the project with regards to the presentation of the project and the lack of credibility of the business as a whole. The biggest issue that immediately jumps out is the fact that their claims have had absolutely ZERO third party verification. Basically although Triton says they have developed this amazing tech that can do all these things, no one outside of their company has verified it. Basically the equivalent of me saying I have created a perpetual motion machine. I can say it all day long, and it may even be true, but until I can get someone else to verify it, it don’t mean shit. So yeah, the fact that people are throwing money at these guys without any actual proof of concept at this point is dubious at best but whatever, it’s not my money I guess.
So, now that we have gone through the issues listed above, lets get into the actual science problems. These are all described in-depth in this article by gear junkie, but it can basically be summed up in three parts. One: in order to get enough oxygen to survive, you are going to have to process about 46.1 liters of water per MINUTE through the mask. That means you are going to have to be pumping like a motherfucker to get it all in there. Take a look at that mask. See any big old pumps on there? I don’t either. Ok so let’s pretend that the pumps are invisible, just for the sake of argument. You are going to need a serious battery in order to power the pumps to move the water to filter the oxygen to not drown. Also contained in breather would need to be a air compression chamber to hold the air before it is breathed in, and it would need some type of regulator to control the volume that is going to be moved in and out of your lungs. All of this they claim is contained in the small container that covers the nose and mouth. Yeah. Right. Not buying it. The fact of the matter is that their claims are just too grand to be true, even if it sounds like something they think we will be able to do in the near future. So what are they going to do with the $700,000 then? Who knows. Probably enjoy the ride and the notoriety while they can until December rolls around and they still don’t have the promised product from the videos. You can do alot with $700,000, just not create a physics breaking underwater breather.