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.
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.