You’re lost in the woods or floating on a life raft. You open a small canister to deploy a Rescue Me Balloon that floats 150 feet in the air to emit a bright, flashing LED that will keep strobing for up to a week. The balloon is radar detectable, allowing rescuers to use more technology to search for survivors.
Balloons as distress signals are not entirely new, but this design is unique and definitely has some potential practical applications. Used in conjunction with traditional flares, the Rescue Me Ballon could be a powerful implement in the emergency toolbox.
The concept of the Rescue Me Balloon is pretty simple and it is reasonably priced to match. The company is currently raising funds to manufacture the product on Kickstarter, where a single Rescue Me Ballon will sell for $40. The company plans to retail the balloons for about $75.
I doubt it will replace flares, especially in maritime applications, and will certainly be affected by wind and weather, but the device should find practical applications as a supplemental emergency signal.