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Wrist-Mounted Kingii Device Inflates in an Instant to Prevent Drowning

Anyone can find themselves in danger underwater. Kingii is a wrist-worn device that inflates instantly when activated and brings you to the surface.

From young kids to experienced surfers, anyone can find themselves in a bad situation under a lot of water. The Kingii is a device worn on the wrist that, when activated, inflates instantly and brings the wearer to the surface. It's a simple safety precaution that seems obvious in retrospect. "When you drive a car, you put your seat belt on," says Kingii inventor Tom Agapiades in a video describing the device. "When you ride a bike, you put on a helmet. But how do you protect yourself in water?"

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The wristband has two compartments — in one is a small inflatable like a water wing, and in the other is a CO2 cartridge that holds the compressed air to fill it up. Once triggered with a lever, according to the inventor, the Kingii will inflate and lift someone as heavy as 275 pounds to the surface and keep them there — where they can get their bearings or call for help with the built-in compass and whistle.

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A minor catch is that the CO2 cartridges are only available from Kingii, so they naturally cost more than the ones used for BB guns and soda makers. But for something that only needs to be used in an emergency, an extra buck or two isn't too much to handle. Right now Kingii is raising money on Indiegogo for the first manufacturing run of the device — you can pre-order one starting at $79.