By Evan Ackerman
There are already a bunch of options for getting yourself rescued from the wilderness (where there are bears that want to eat you). Most of these options are fairly situational… A cell phone is great, but you need reception and batteries. A flare gun is great (and fun!), but it only works once. A signal mirror is great, but you need to have sun. What you really want is something simple, reliable, portable, and effective, which (it turns out) means big inflatable rescue balloon.
The Rescue Balloon not only has a creative name, but comes rolled up around its own little cylinder of helium. If you find yourself not being able to find yourself, simply panic, stop panicking, inflate the balloon, send it up, and wait for rescue. The balloon doesn’t really work at night (maybe a future version might include a little LED or something?), but I imagine it holds onto the helium long enough to function for at least a day or two. Now, if they’d just make the balloon a little bit bigger, maybe it could actually, you know, rescue you.
Oh, and for the record, they’ve had these things for scuba divers for ages… If you surface and can’t see the boat, you inflate a tall skinny balloon to make yourself more visible in the water. Genius!