Breathing Bike and canned fresh air for a Blade Runner-like smog

Last month, China’s capital Beijing was blanketed by a really thick smog which made the city look like a scene from Blade Runner (or Silent Hill, if you want to be freaky). See here and here.

Although most days are clear, Beijing really has a high level of pollution. In response to the air problem, the eccentric but extremely wealthy Chinese entrepreneur Chen Guangbiao pulled a publicity stunt to bring awareness to Beijing’s smog problem (as if the actual smog was not convincing or obvious enough) — he manufactured canned fresh air and sold them.

canned fresh air
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the cans of clean air come in different atmospheric flavors, such as pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan’an.

In the meantime, a man with a mechanical engineering background rigged his bicycle to give it air cleaning properties.

anti-smog bicycle by Matt Hope

And just like the name Hiro Protagonist tells us who is Snow Crash’s hero and protagonist, guess what this bike hacker’s name is? Matt Hope. A ray of light shining through heavily polluted skies.

The “Breathing Bike” is not perfect though. It produces high-voltage electricity that is hazardous if there is a downpour. If you get caught in the rain, you’re probably toasted, literally. Nevertheless, it is an interesting prototype that can be improved upon.

Video credits: ElvinProskaz, Xiao Li Tan / Youtube


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