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View Full Version : Will This Device Revolutionize Diving?



Sarah
10-07-2007, 06:28 AM
382

Scuba diving is a sport that attracts millions of people from around the world; its popularity continues to grow every year. With an estimated two to three million certified scuba divers in the United States alone, more men and women are attracted to the sport, enjoying the visual beauty of underwater exploration.

Yet scuba diving, like virtually any sport, has its risks. Figures from 2004 show that 160 divers died in accidents; more than half of them occurred in the United States and Canada. In addition, another 640 dive-related injuries of various degrees were reported during the same period. The fatalities follow an all-too-familiar pattern: of the 88 Americans and Canadians who lost their lives while scuba diving, one-third of them began having problems and lost consciousness while at the bottom.

While it would be an over-simplification to say that the victims’ lives may have been saved if their distress had been noticed and responded to more quickly, it is an incontrovertible fact that safety issues are a paramount concern for any diver. The capability to contact a fellow diver or the surface ship when something goes wrong, within seconds, may literally make the difference between life and death.

The answer, according to an Israeli-based firm, is based on technology that teenagers use every day.

“We saw how popular text messaging has become worldwide, and knew instantly that we could bring that functionality to divers, helping to increase their safety while underwater,” says Netta Kerem, president and chief executive officer of the Underwater Technology Centre (http://www.utc-digital.com/) (UTC), which has developed a first-of-its kind underwater digital device that helps divers stay in closer contact than ever before, even while allowing them to move greater distances from each other.

UTC’s device, to be introduced later this month at the DEMA conference in Orlando, will allow divers to send text messages between themselves, or up to the surface ships, up to 500 meters away, the equivalent of more than five football fields. Even better, the device will come equipped with a unique distress notifier; if a diver finds himself in trouble, he can activate a special SOS signal, which will allow other divers to pinpoint his location up to 1000 meters, and quickly reach him to provide assistance.

But texting capabilities are only part of what UTC’s device will offer. “We are combining our exclusive, patented technology with technology found in existing devices to produce a device that allows one diver to message more than a dozen other divers at the same time. It is easily worn on your arm, or an inflator,” says Kerem. He adds that it is also far more comfortable than the cumbersome voice-activated communicators used by some divers. “We have tested the devices on more than 100 dives, in real-world conditions,” Kerem states. “In every instance, divers tell us they are impressed with the device’s ease of use, and the way it helps them keep in touch with other divers, both underwater and on the surface. It gives them a greater degree of confidence, which allows them to more fully enjoy their dives.”

jknights
10-07-2007, 02:20 PM
Interesting technology.
Any more information or is this an early post of a potential product ?

Papa Bear
10-07-2007, 03:57 PM
I go to get away from this kind of deal! I am not sure that communicating would have saved anyone. Most died of panic and I can't see someone Texting that they are panicked and drowning. What would they say? If lost what are they going to say? "I am over here" Just another gimmick that may have a few practical uses, but it won't save very many lives!

Tigerbeach
10-07-2007, 04:07 PM
I go to get away from this kind of deal! I am not sure that communicating would have saved anyone. Most died of panic and I can't see someone Texting that they are panicked and drowning. What would they say? If lost what are they going to say? "I am over here" Just another gimmick that may have a few practical uses, but it won't save very many lives!

Aw, c'mon PB! This is a perfect apparatus for divers! Something else to take their minds off of what they should be doing underwater, namely diving!
Maybe PADI can teach a text messaging class...

The Publisher
10-07-2007, 04:13 PM
JK, we're trying to get more info ourselves as well as a unit. As soon as we have more info we'll post photos and we may even shoot a short video if it.

rwhitbread
10-07-2007, 06:22 PM
"that helps divers stay in closer contact than ever before, even while allowing them to move greater distances from each other."

Hmmmm let's see.....closer contact......move greater distances from each other....hmmmmm

Am I the only one who sees the little monir complication with this concept.

So I'm diving with my buddy and we have these nice little gizmos, and of course we decide to stay in contact while moving greater distances from each other. So I'm at one end of the wreck and my buddy is on the other when suddenly I get a text mesaage that they've got a equipment malfunction, are out of air and entangled. Well at least I can tell the coroner what killed my buddy, because of course I would not be able to span the distance fast enough to get to my buddy in time before they drowned.

The only thign this type of device will do is promote bad diving habits among that group of already complacent divers.

acelockco
10-07-2007, 06:28 PM
I feel it is an outdated device even though it is new. Why text? How about verbal communications like they have in full face masks? Maybe we should all trade in our cell phones for pagers and our dive computers for tables while we are at it.

Papa Bear
10-07-2007, 07:23 PM
I prefer looking at the reef trough my camera lens! No time to text or play video games. Most of the time I don't want to communicate much past a sign or two! I have a great idea, what about a white board that you can write on and pass over to your buddy who is close by. The only use I see is salvage and then, as said, the AGA mask is better you can talk and hear and it only takes one hand!

hbh2oguard
10-08-2007, 05:44 AM
so it's a super expensive slate

Sarah
10-08-2007, 05:46 AM
Then a computer is an expensive slate too, and the slate is just an expensive smoke signal ;)

Papa Bear
10-08-2007, 06:10 AM
The Computer was the biggest advancement in diving since the Regulator! It has freed us to do so many other thing not been a distraction at all! It has saved lives! Not a very good analogy, I know you can do better!:p
As far as a Smoke Signal you will have to ask TB:D

Sarah
10-08-2007, 06:13 AM
After a thorough and complete hearing, it is our official ruling that my analogy was perfect! ;)

acelockco
10-08-2007, 07:33 AM
Then a computer is an expensive slate too, and the slate is just an expensive smoke signal ;)


How do you figure that?

Sarah
10-08-2007, 08:27 AM
Um, with a Texas Instruments Scientific Calculator with algebraic logic?


;)

Papa Bear
10-09-2007, 05:09 AM
Having your deaf Great Grand Mother hear your side might be complete and thorough, but it is a little one sided:p

seasnake
10-09-2007, 02:44 PM
I wonder too how easy the device would be to manipulate with thick gloves on in cold water?
I think it has drawbacks for the reason mentioned, but the idea of a "panic button" you could hit underwater, that emitted some kind of locator signal, might be useful. It would have to be a "last resort/holy cow this is it/I totally screwed up/you guys can split my gear amongst you" kinda device, because obviously things have gone really bad if you have come to the point where all you can do is hit a button and hope people will find you. Other than that, although the device might be a neato gadget, to use it as advertised sounds like it's replacing good diving habits.

Tigerbeach
10-09-2007, 08:04 PM
Other than that, although the device might be a neato gadget, to use it as advertised sounds like it's replacing good diving habits.

Welcome to my world...

Papa Bear
10-09-2007, 09:38 PM
Welcome to my world...

Ya, like smoking underwater! LMAO!!! :D ;) :p :eek: :cool:

acelockco
10-09-2007, 11:33 PM
Hahahahaha!

Tigerbeach
10-10-2007, 05:01 AM
(Tries to type "bite me" on underwater text messaging device...)

acelockco
10-10-2007, 03:47 PM
Then I hope sharks can not receive the message.

Papa Bear
10-10-2007, 07:05 PM
(Tries to type "bite me" on underwater text messaging device...)
I am sorry! I didn't get that message your battery must be low or are you just missing?:(

The Publisher
11-13-2007, 07:30 AM
We had a chance to shoot an HD interview with the inventor of the product. Once editing is finished, we'll post it here.

http://www.utc-digital.com/