Triton Scuba Mask Transforms Divers into Human Fish

by , 03/21/14

scuba mask, triton scuba mask, design concept, breathing underwater, scuba equipment, diving, south korean designer, microbattery, oxygen mask, oxygen filter

South Korean designer Jeabyun Yeon just unveiled a conceptual scuba mask that would allow divers to breathe underwater without air tanks. The mask, called the Triton, consists of two branching arms designed to serve as “gills” that extract oxygen from the water and deliver breathable air directly into their wearer’s lungs. Instead of hauling around heavy scuba equipment, swimmers could simply bite down on a plastic mouth piece.

scuba mask, triton scuba mask, design concept, breathing underwater, scuba equipment, diving, south korean designer, microbattery, oxygen mask, oxygen filter

The device is covered in plastic “scales” which allow water to enter through small holes, where it enters a chamber that separates the oxygen from the liquid. The Triton’s internal filter utilizes fine threads with holes smaller than water molecules, so that only air is able to pass through. The oxygen is then compressed and stored in a miniature storage tank. The entire gadget is powered by an incredibly small, easily rechargeable microbattery.

So far, the design is just a concept, but Yeon has high hopes that it will someday be turned into a commercial product that can completely replace complicated scuba gear.

+ Jeabyun Yeon

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Dean Hicks October 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I want one.That is the coolest thing i ever seen.

  2. Juan Morris September 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

    I too [That’s Juan Morris on Facebook] have a concept for a gill like device; save my concept is not like the cars at the show – it will be put into production.
    So if Mr. Yoen is serious, he best be aware, he has competition. I’m Betamax & he’s VHS, but this time Beta’s gonna win.

    I’ve yet to raise any funds on FundAnything or IndieGOGO, so I’m at it alone. Three months after I (unemployed) can raise $3k (not needed for bills), the race is on!

  3. james mcgahan September 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    that would indeed be interesting

  4. Mike Froedge September 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Yeah, George Starr… Except this one is not just a movie prop, it will actually WORK. 😉
    Oh, and if you have a cell phone… you’re carrying around a Star Trek “communicator”…. 😀

  5. Theon Richardson September 10, 2014 at 12:44 am

    How many of you remember the movie The Abyss?!?! Before we are born are lungs are filled with fluid.

  6. Frank Samuel Slobusky September 9, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    PADI will have Mr. Yeon renditioned.

  7. Dale Diaz September 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Think Oxygen generators, Laddy!

  8. George Starr September 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Star Trek and Star Wars have beat youto this design.. So glad you watch movies..

  9. Garry Dentist September 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    OK, I’ ll take one
    However, I will make mine with moulded, bespoke mouth-piece to fit my own teeth.
    Call me if you wish a comfortable, fitted mouth-piece, to relive muscle stress.
    Basel\\\’s English dentist, Dr Garry Bonsall, dental surgeonBasel
    061 271 0604

  10. Denverrisley September 9, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Your diaphragm isn’t strong enough to work your lungs under more than 2 feet of water. That’s why scuba tanks are pressurized as much as they are to actually force the air into your lungs once the valve is actuated by the slight pressure differential caused by you trying to inhale.

  11. Robert Vaughan September 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    For all of the armchair scientists discussing the amount of nitrogen, oxygen, etc.. in the atmosphere you must also realize that those same gasses are trapped in water. Not in the same amounts but they are present. Atmosphere has roughly 78% Nitrogen, 20% Oxygen, and 2% other inert gasses ( Carbon Dioxide being less than half a percent of atmospheric gas ) while seawater has 47.5% Nitrogen, 36% Oxygen, 15.1% Carbon Dioxide, 1.3% Argon, and .1% Other Inert Gases. These are gases and as such all but Carbon Dioxide are single molecules where CO2 and H2O ( water ) are compounds made up of some of these molecules thus making them larger than their single molecular counterparts. Granted you would need an atomic level filter to separate these and then a mechanism to mix them at the right breathable levels, but it more than possible.

  12. Teddy Olson September 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Just realized that you still need all of the BCD gear to help you get down to the bottom of the ocean so the bulky gear won’t be eliminated, it will just hopefully be reduced in size(smaller tanks).

  13. Teddy Olson September 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Mr. Yeon, I will beta test this for you if I can get my grubby mits on one of these things. Then all I need is a jedi costume and I can recreate that scene from Star Wars Episode one where Obi Wan and Qui Gon swim to Gungan City.

  14. Stefan Weiss September 8, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Of course he doesnt mention how hes going to separate the oxygen from the hydrogen and what he plans to do with the hydrogen. This process takes a LOT of energy. Perhaps he can get a reaction started and then use the hydrogen release to power itself… but thats not going to happen in a tiny unit like that. This concept is awesome, but so is a magic carpet.

  15. Matt Sanford September 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    sign me up if you need a beta tester

  16. Ben Rogers September 8, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Shut up and take my money!

  17. Joe Joint September 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    It’s pretty…does it work? If so, where do I send my money.

  18. jenniville01 September 8, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Why can’t it be human-powered…the act of sucking in and blowing out? Back-up battery in case someone accidentally gets knocked out …setting off one of those life-alerts! lol. Can the battery also be recharged by human power?

  19. Gstring September 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    wound these work in chlorinated pools or would you end up inhaling chlorine gas?

  20. Eb Werner September 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    The article uses “air” and “oxygen” in the filter description. If this is a mechanical filter as suggested in the writeup, then air is what is filtered out, not pure oxygen. This would avoid the problem with pure oxygen mentioned. The problem with such a filter may be in the relative size of the molecules – water, oxygen, nitrogen – involved. My vague recollection is that these molecules are all approximately the same size (I think the water molecule is the smallest of the lot). Getting information on molecule size is a little complicated; perhaps someone who knows something about that might comment on this, and would such a filter actually be feasible.

  21. Cindy Sloan September 5, 2014 at 12:29 am

    Interesting concept. However, people breathe air which is a mixture of about 80% nitrogen and about 19% oxygen, with 1% trace gases.

    If you know anything about human physiology and diving physics, you know that oxygen is toxic when breathed under pressure (at depths).

    This would be a deadly contraption for underwater divers.

    Looks more like a science fiction gadget that you would see in some Hollywood movie. Unrealistic, but looks good.

  22. Victoria Ainsworth August 16, 2014 at 2:58 am

    well they said it was just a concept – it is still a work in progress. Perhaps a pump system could be set up so that it could pump the several cubic meters necessary in a time fast enough to breathe – or, perhaps the filter tubes could be longer, like catfish whiskers, or even tentacle – long in order to pump the needed amount of water. There is so much potential here – once man can spend more time under water like a marine creature, maybe more people will give a shit what we are doing to our oceans!!!

  23. Al Rotundo May 31, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I have only done SCUBA in a swimming pool,but even I can tell that there would be no way this device could produce enough breathable air to be useful.

  24. Jonathan Burbano May 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Funny how reading the article my first thought, having never gone scuba diving, was that it won’t work. With 20% of air being oxygen, the rest mostly nitrogen. While nitrogen does exist in water, it is not in N2 but as ammonia or nitrite; ie unless the machine can break down ammonia and nitrite into N2, we will be inhaling ammonia and nitrite. The alternative would be compressed N2 tanks, like CO2 tanks for air handguns, and the apparatus distributes the N2 based on the O2 intake to make it a nice 80:20 ratio. If that is done, being that there is less O2 by a whole lot than N2, you might as well just used compressed 02 AND N2. All the extra technological mumbojumbo is unnecessary. The only benefit of the former idea is that, if you use one tank for the O2 and one tank for the N2, if you forgo the O2 tank and use these “gills” (just a simple filter) you can double the underwater time by using TWO N2 tanks instead of just one. Then the only thing that needs to be assessed is the buoyancy of the tanks, because the last thing you want when trying to go down, is you mask wanting to go up.

  25. Rue Koegel May 5, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    pair this with the membrane that turns water movement over it’s service into energy and you have a device that never needs recharging, and works as long as the filter system and membrane continue to function.

  26. Peter Ager March 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Nice design but it wouldn’t work. Similar systems have been tried in the past but the amount of water that needs to be processed in order to provide just a single breath is in the order of several cubic metres.

    Also pure oxygen becomes toxic to humans as the depth increases which is why most divers use compressed air so the system would, at least, need to extract nitrogen as well

  27. itsandyjb March 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    If it works its one of the most amazing inventions ever xx

  28. roiikkata March 21, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    id pay mad money for one of those if i was a diver

  29. Izabela Wojcik March 21, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    This is a ‘must happen’… the experience of diving would go through the roof on a WOW scale:)

  30. Jerome Gosse January 31, 2014 at 9:00 am

    divers don’t dive with oxygen, we use compressed air.

  31. Mike Sisco January 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

    so where would it acquire the other elements that are in breathable air? Breathing straight oxygen underwater would be deadly.

  32. Laura Wiltshire January 24, 2014 at 3:20 am

    This is definitely just like the gadgets used in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jin. I can dig it.

  33. cmiller173 January 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Tom Swift and the Electronic Hydrolung (1961)

  34. Todd Rosamond January 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Well, H.G. Well’s science fiction novel, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, involved a “science-fiction-type contraption” called a submarine…hmmm….wonder how that worked out? Wilbur and Orville Wright? Remember that crazy contraption that everyone thought would never “get off the ground”? Point of fact is, everything starts out as a concept…an idea…a dream; and then one day, a reality.

  35. Professor Farnsworth January 20, 2014 at 10:58 am

    If only it where available as some sort of suppository.

  36. ipftoday January 20, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Interesting, maybe we can turn this into a portable oxygen concentrator for people with lung diseases!!!!

  37. gmoke January 19, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Wonder if this technology can be modified to filter oxygen for those that need it to breathe easily and remove pollutants added to the air by human stupidity.

  38. Tj Erickson January 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I was 9 when i had the same basic idea….i wonder how long batt. stays charged and how deep…psi-pressure could it withstand

  39. toaste January 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

    for clarification, breathing oxygen underwater can be extremely dangerous, that\’s why scuba tanks have compressed air in them

  40. Dada Nabhaniilananda January 19, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I want one. Scuba is pretty cumbersome. However, I can’t help wondering how far in the future this is.

  41. kirk.58 January 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Soooo, just someones science fiction concept idea for a book or a movie then?

  42. Lord Kuz January 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Yeah. Great design for a Science FICTION movie prop! This concept has been bandied about for a few decades now – while they still struggle with re-breathing technologies.

  43. RelayerM31 January 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    This thing would have to make a LOT of “air” for the swimmer. We breathe around 6 to 20 liters of air every minute. Good luck.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home