Four years ago, we heard about a neck-worn device that wirelessly transmits an alert if its wearer should happen to start drowning. Well, the Ploota takes things a step further – it actually deploys two airbags, to bring its user up to the surface. And unlike some similar devices, it keeps them floating in a head-up position.
Although the Ploota can be submerged briefly without being activated, it has a sensor that detects if it stays under for more than 30 seconds. Should this happen, it is assumed that the user is in trouble, as opposed to just being good at holding their breath. The two airbags are then inflated, bringing the wearer back to the surface.
Even if they're unconscious, they should still end up floating face-up, for up to a claimed six hours if necessary.
In the event that the user knows they're struggling before 30 seconds have elapsed, the device can also be activated manually. Its CO2 cartridge is good for just a single use, although it can replaced with another one picked up in a local store. The airbags can simply be deflated, then rolled back up and tucked inside.
The Ploota is presently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where a pledge of €50 (about US$55) will get you one in your choice of three sizes, when and if it reaches production. Potential buyers might also want to check out the Lifeshirt.