A couple of weeks ago I posted an interesting tech gear Triton, a simple artificial gills that allow swimmers and divers to breathe up to 45 minutes at 15 feet depth. Here is the link. The crowd funding project from Indiegogo received a huge support that collected close to a $1 million dollars. It got the attention of scientists and divers communities that question the legitimacy of the technology. That led to Indiegogo team reevaluate Triton campaign. A few days ago, Triton had issued refunds to more than 2000 of its backers. Here’s one of the site GearJunkie initially calling out the developer. Since then Triton had come clean and posted its explanation you can read it here. This is part of the quote
“Since launching we have been protected our proprietary technology because it’s so important to our success, but after careful consideration we think it’s important to share these details and clarify how the device works. Inside of each Triton, the artificial gills utilize “liquid oxygen”, which combined with the other components allow users to breathe underwater, which you can see in the video above. We will release more information about the ‘liquid oxygen’ cylinders and safety strap. Note that the “liquid oxygen” cylinders won’t last forever so we plan to make it possible for backers to purchase and exchange cylinders through our website. They will come in packs of 1, 3 and 5, and we’ll list prices as soon as they are finalized. We’re also working on a solution to make them refillable.”
What is the component in this ‘liquid oxygen” that divers consume? Is it scientifically vetted for regular folks to consume with no short or long-term effect to one’s health? Triton has since relaunch its campaign and in a matter of few days collected close to $300000 with over 700 backers.
There are many legitimate developers in crowd funding sources in Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However anyone from anywhere can easily start a campaign to crowd source with little scrutiny unless it happens to come across the sight of someone who blow the whistle on those illegitimate claims. It’s easy to buy into a concept and wanting to believe especially when it comes to technology. We always have to be caution and fall back to the old clichés of if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So buyer beware. Losing money and falling into scam are the least of the concern. Being a guinea pig to an unscientific experiment that could result to bodily harm or even death is not worth the curiosity.
Do we know if Triton Gills will work and safe to use? I’ll leave it up to the scientific and diving communities to test it out. If they prove to be a legitimate gear, you have no worries on getting one in your hand. There’s no prize to be awarded for the first batch of consumers to try it out.