Well hereā€™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 rideā€”a bit like flying through the air while hanging on to a helium balloon.

Itā€™s called Kingii (kin-JEE), and though it bills itself as a small, wearable, water safety device, itā€™s a pretty whimsical one. If youā€™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, itā€™s 78 times smaller than a lifejacket.

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The bag is inflated with an internal C02 cartridge thatā€™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, itā€™s completely reusable.

Kingii has some possible disadvantages compared to a traditional lifejacket: What happens if the user is unconscious, for example? And if youā€™re using it just to swim, does it really stay out of the way?

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And what about the bends? If youā€™re too far deep and rocket up too quickly, is that harmful? The Indiegogo page says the product is designed for activities like ā€œswimming, surfing, snorkeling, fishing or stand up paddling,ā€ so presumably, itā€™s best for situations where you wouldnā€™t be down too deep to begin with or are in crazy rough waters. But thatā€™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.

[Indiegogo]

GIFs and video via Indiegogo

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