Championed for their ability to alleviate stress, anxiety and even physical pain, sensory deprivation tanks have risen in popularity in recent years. Shutting out the senses and floating in a foot of heavily salted water doesn't come cheaply though, whether it's a one-off session at your local float house or shelling out for a tank of your own. Inventor and float tank-devotee Shane Stott is looking to make the experience more accessible with the Zen Float Tent, an easily-assembled isolation tank for the home.
The typical float tank is a sound and light-proof box filled with around a foot (30 cm) of water. This water contains a heavy dose of Epsom salts and is heated to the same temperature as the human body, providing the user with a feeling of weightlessness and leaving them free to relax, rejuvenate and explore the depths of their psyche.
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Stott's version is designed to serve this purpose, but bears more resemblance to a two-man tent than a heavy-duty tank. The bed of the Float Zen Tent holds 201 gallons (760 L) of water with a depth of 10 inches (25.4 cm) and requires 800 lb (363 kg) of Epsom Salts for optimal floating. It measures 8 x 4 x 5.5 ft (2.4 x 1.2 x 1.62 m) at the base, its pyramid-shaped design supported by a stainless steel frame and enclosed in a dual-layer waterproof canvas to keep out the light.
The water is warmed by a custom-made radiant heating system under the base that Stott says will maintain a constant temperature while remaining completely silent. He has also designed a custom pump that works as a both a mechanical and UV filter to keep the water clean.
The idea of a personal sensory deprivation tank is nothing new, though the cost and difficulties in transportation may have previously been enough to deter float enthusiasts from taking the plunge. Stott is aiming to overcome both these problems by creating a tank that is portable, doesn't involve plumbing and won't require you to mortgage your home before you move it in there.
He has functioning prototypes and has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds and take the Zen Float Tent to market. If all goes to plan, a pledge of US$1,600 will land you one of your own, with shipping estimated for August 2014.
You can hear from Stott in the video below.
Source: Zen Float Company