Well here’s a clever idea. An Indiegogo campaign for a safety device that pulls a swimmer to the surface in an emergency. It looks like a wild ride—a bit like flying through the air while hanging on to a helium balloon.
It’s called Kingii (kin-JEE), and though it bills itself as a small, wearable, water safety device, it’s a pretty whimsical one. If you’re in trouble underwater, simply pull a lever and your hand and head fly toward the surface, where you can use the inflatable as a flotation device that stays inflated for up to two days. According to the campaign, it’s 78 times smaller than a lifejacket.
The bag is inflated with an internal C02 cartridge that’s activated once the lever is pulled. It also comes with a built-in compass and whistle. The inflatable itself is the same hazard orange as a traditional lifejacket, but the non-obtrusive design allows you to swim with it, as well. And provided you stock up on CO2 cartridges, it’s completely reusable.
Kingii has some possible disadvantages compared to a traditional lifejacket: What happens if the user is unconscious, for example? And if you’re using it just to swim, does it really stay out of the way?
And what about the bends? If you’re too far deep and rocket up too quickly, is that harmful? The Indiegogo page says the product is designed for activities like “swimming, surfing, snorkeling, fishing or stand up paddling,” so presumably, it’s best for situations where you wouldn’t be down too deep to begin with or are in crazy rough waters. But that’s another challenge the design team needs to keep in mind.
The campaign has raised nearly $600,000 so far, well above its goal, so production should start sometime this year.
GIFs and video via Indiegogo