The internet of things is here, and that has brought us the gift of some amazing and some really weird wearables. You can now wear an air conditioner, a translator, glucose monitor, and even a quadcopter. While most of these are pretty useful and sensible products, some are just bizarre. One such portable device is Treepex, that looks like a little barrel and claims to clean polluted air to let you breathe in clean mineral-infused air.
Treepex uses a cartridge filled with compressed living tree cells, that turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, just like a plant. The device is meant to imitate the behavior of a tree, which turns carbon dioxide into mineral-rich air.
Treepex is a Tbilisi-based, Georgian startup that wants to provide a solution to the world’s pollution problems. The Treepex device uses the CRISPR technology that can “extract the DNA of actual trees to recreate the living cells that are responsible for photosynthesis.” These cells are them compressed into cartridges that are able to absorb the polluted air and give our the clean, fresh air for us to breathe. This would all be perfect, except you have to plug the cartridge into the tube-like device and place it in your mouth to breathe.
The company writes a description on their official blog that reads:
“When you take a look at a leaf with a microscope you can see the cells which are responsible for the photosynthesis. And that’s only a very, very little part of the entire leaf. Simply, think about this as if thousands of leaves were squeeze into the small cartridge. Basically, you will have a supply of fresh air always on hand! The device is easy to use, portable, and handy. Just imagine taking your bike to work, but instead of inhaling all the exhaust of cars, you can breath fresh air! Or, what if you live in one of the most polluted cities? Just use Treepex when you walk down the street without any worry you may kill yourself by simply breathing.”
The founders of the company, Bacho Khachidze, and Lashe Kvantaliani have been working on many environmental projects for years. The began a tree plantation initiative a couple of years ago by creating an app that lets you track the growth and health of the tree that you plant. That did not work very well so came up woth another way to make the air quality better for us.
The Treepax mouthpiece comes with an LED indicator to signal the required change of the cartridge. You can charge the device with a wireless fast charger in just 30 minutes, and the battery will last you 24 hours of use. The founders say, “If we cannot stop deforestation, what if we can bring the forest into our everyday life? Of course, the fact remains we can’t stop deforestation, and that’s one of the reasons why they decided to find an immediate and effective solution to breathe your own forest using Treepex.” The device may sound super absurd right now, but the creators Khachidze and Kvantaliani say that it will become a life essential in the future of nuclear wars and Mars colonies.
While the company website does not provide much technical information, we still might be able to believe that CRISPR actually works. But the question is, why would a perfectly healthy individual wish to walk around with a bizarre device stuck to their mouth? Can you even imagine talking while wearing this thing? I can not.