If we’ve learned anything writing this blog, it’s that magnets have almost unlimited applications. From simple DIYs and craft projects, to industrial machinery, to helping pioneer the future of space travel, magnetism is a forced to be reckoned with. Another application for magnets comes in the form of new flotation devices, aimed at helping people in the water.

Float On Okay

The Network Tube is changing the way people float, all through magnetism. You might be familiar with the traditional lifesaver you’d find lining ships or even pools. They’re simple, floating rings with ropes attached. The individual puts the ring around their body and then, well, just float on.

However, this presents one significant problem if you’re in the ocean—currents. Bobbing along in these old school flotation devices leaves you at the mercy of often unpredictable ocean currents. The next thing you know, you’re separated from everyone else.

The Specs

The new magnetic design takes this out of the equation with some pretty cool technological advances to floating rings of yesterday. The main component that gets us excited is a magnetic block that shoots away from the flotation device. This magnet is able to link up with other floating rings and literally bring people together. No one floats alone!

Another cool feature on these flotation devices is the built-in GPS. Every ring has its own tracking device, so in the event you do float a little farther than you should, a satellite can easily find you.

However, the most impressive feature might just be how these two components, the magnet and GPS, interact. If you and your fellow floaters are scattered about, onboard GPS detectors can pinpoint another flotation device and send the tethered magnet in that direction. You don’t even have to kick your legs!

The Network Tube’s design is so revolutionary, that it and its designers were even nominated for a Spark Award—a distinction honoring the most innovative and technologically creative ideas and inventions from around the world. And who could blame the good people at Spark? Magnets are genius all by themselves.

We’re always looking for magnetic news to write about. Have a good lead? Let us know!