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This throwable life preserver inflates instantly when it hits water

OneUp - Portable and Ultra Compact Life Preserver

When you’re talking about a potentially life-saving device like a life preserver, it should ideally fit a couple of criteria; ease of transport, and quick and easy deployment. This combination means that, should disaster strike, you’ll be in the best possible position to do something about it.

The designers of a new life preserver called OneUp have apparently taken these crucial points into consideration when developing their new device. The result is a gadget the size and shape of a large can of soda, but which promises to rapidly inflate into a full-sized polyurethane float in just a couple of seconds.

“OneUp is a portable life float which is automatically inflated in two seconds once in contact with water,” Saul de Leon, CEO and founder of OneUp, told Digital Trends. “It is lightweight, portable, and easy to throw. It is lighter than conventional life floats and a lot smaller, so you can carry it with you at any time, in any situation. You don’t need to do anything [special] to activate it, you just need to throw it [into] the water.”

The device’s cylindrical case houses the deflated float, a CO2 canister, a salt pod, and a spring. The moment the device comes into contact with water, the salt pod dissolves, releasing the spring, and triggering the CO2 canister to inflate the float, which subsequently bursts out of its container. According to its creators, it can support swimmers who weigh up to 330 pounds. Once used, you can then replace the CO2 canister and salt pod in order to recycle the device.

“One night I was watching a documentary about the refugees in the Mediterranean,” de Leon explained, describing the project’s origins. “Guys from rescue services were saying that when they first came to the place, in jet skis, where people were drowning, it was impossible to assist them. With this situation in my mind I went to bed thinking that something needed to be done. This is how I thought that if something small, light, easy to throw, and automatically inflated was created, so many lives could be saved in a safer way without endangering anyone. This is how OneUp was born.”

If you’re interested in getting hold of one of the innovative life preservers, you can pledge money as part of its Indiegogo campaign. While we offer all our usual warnings about getting involved with crowdfunding projects, if you nonetheless feel confident, you can pledge $49 to hopefully secure yourself a unit. Shipping is set to take place in July 2018.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
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