This is part of a special series, presented by Thrivent Financial, that focuses on a diversity of American inventors and innovations.
Every year, around 3,500 people die from drowning accidents. Drowning deaths are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in the United States.
Most people who drown are not wearing any type of personal flotation device, despite research that shows that floaties can indeed save lives. Even some of the best swimmers can find themselves in the water in a compromised situation, be it choppy water, undertow, sudden dip in water temperature, or a number of other sudden change in condition.
This is why the highly compact Kingii flotation device is so revolutionary.
"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?"
The Kingii is a simple wearable that can keep the user safe if they unexpectedly fall into the water. The device is worn around the wrist, which keeps it out of the way during regular wear. If you suddenly find yourself in a situation where you need help staying afloat, all you need to do is pull a lever. The device will inflate and keep you safely above water until help can arrive.
The Kingii is the world's smallest inflatable flotation device. At a weight of less than five ounces, it is powerful enough to keep an adult afloat for more than 48 hours, if need be. The device is also reusable, which makes it both economical and sustainable. Users simply have to replace the Kingii's CO2 cylinder after use and it can be worn again.
Researchers say that a quality flotation device can make all the difference when someone winds up in the water unintentionally. By making it easy and affordable to stay safe on the water, this new flotation device can save lives.
Image via Kingii.