This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!
It might spoil your gaming experience when first playing the related games.
The Aperture Science Pneumatic Diversity Vent is a suction and directional component for the Tube Network used throughout the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. This component is used as a means of delivering products throughout the facility.
Created sometime in 1998, the Pneumatic Diversity Vent is the receiving and checkpoint components of a Pipe Network, opposite to that of a Vital Apparatus Vent that only delivers testing elements throughout the facility.
Although these vents were not introduced in Portal, the pneumatic pressures still existed throughout the Tube Network. This would mean that Chell had always been carried through the Tube Network in Portal with the aid of the Pneumatic Diversity Vents. The Pneumatic Vent produces an incredibly strong suction, and therefore are placed throughout the Pipe Network as checkpoints to prevent objects from slowing down during distribution.
The Passive Monitoring system ensures objects in the vent are identified, but never judged.
The vents were used again in Portal 2 by Chell and Wheatley when sucked through what used to be a neurotoxin channeling tube, where they are then carried throughout the entire Enrichment Center to the Central AI Chamber.
"Diversity" is a registered trademark of Aperture Science.
Behind the scenes
- The Pneumatic Diversity Vent was first introduced as a testing element during the Portal ARG, in one of the ASCII art images given by the BBS.
- Further revealing shows it was originally a testing element in the April 2010 issue of Game Informer, followed by an updated and animated diagram during E3 2010.
- The Pneumatic Diversity Vent was cut from testing in Portal 2 after playtesters had issues with its use in gameplay, as well as Valve deciding that it didn't have much use other than eliminating turrets.
- The concept of a portal "vacuum" may have been recycled into the final scene in Portal 2 where Chell causes a decompression in Wheatley's chamber by firing at the Moon. The way objects were sucked out of the portal might have utilized the same game code the Pneumatic Diversity Vent used.