H3 outdoor smartwatch dives seas, climbs mountains
The all-new Seabear H3 is a smartwatch for outdoor lovers of land and sea. Billed as the first dive watch with color OLED display, the watch also includes features for hikers and other sporty landlubbers. Use it to plummet your way down into the vast abyss of the world's oceans, then dry it off, tweak your display and navigate the world's highest mountains.
The H3 is part of Seabear's move over to consumer goods from professional/military gear. The company told us that it believes that the dive watch market is already pretty full, so in launching a consumer dive computer, it sought to create something a bit different. It believes that the H3's dual-personality outdoor/dive design carves a unique niche within the market.
Behind its bright, crisp 1.7-in OLED screen, the H3 features a 32-bit microcontroller, a 24-bit ambient pressure sensor for measuring depth and altitude, a three-axis, tilt-compensated digital compass for navigation on land and in water, and 32 MB of flash memory. The watch is housed inside a stainless steel chassis and includes a sapphire display. It can be used to a maximum operational depth of 427 ft (130 m), and the altimeter works to Everest-topping heights of 32,808 ft (10,000 m).
"The H3 uses the Buehlmann ZH-L16 algorithm together with Gradient Factors," Seabear says of its technical dive capabilities. "The algorithm is based on 16 compartments for nitrogen and 16 compartments for helium. With up to eight pre-programmable gases, it is possible to use the H3 for the most sophisticated technical dives. A 16 compartment bar graph visualizes inert gas loadings during the dive. The H3 comes as Nitrox dive computer and can be upgraded for multigas, trimix and CCR diving."
The user can navigate between different screen options using the two side buttons. The USB port caters for charging the 400 mAh lithium-ion battery and uploading data stored on the watch's flash memory. The watch also includes near field communications (NFC) capabilities, so that you can simply tap it on a compatible smartphone to upload data straight into the companion Android app. This app allows you to better view, analyze and share the stored data.
Seabear claims that its color screen is much easier to read than a traditional LCD watch screen, especially when it comes to deep, dark dives. We didn't actually get to go underwater with it, but we can say that it was very crisp and bright on the floor of the Düsseldorf boat show.
We'll have to disagree with Seabear on its claim that the H3 is an "ideal companion for daily life," though. It's a big, geeky brick, and unlike big, geeky bricks designed specifically for everyday use, the H3 doesn't have much in the way of useful, everyday features. However, it does contain a simple watch mode that shows time, date, altitude and heading, so if you do end up wearing it on a daily basis, at least it's a brick with a useful watch display.
Seabear plans to launch the H3 in Germany next month, starting at €790 and €990 for the trimix version. In March, the company will launch the very similar T1 dive computer at the same price points.
The T1 offers the same features as the H3 but with a large, easy-to-use scroll wheel interface. Users scroll through menu options using the large wheel, and a simple click is used to select. The T1 also includes 2 GB of internal memory. The military-inspired T1 promises easier in-field control but is larger and uses lower tier materials to keep the price at the same level as the H3.
The two Seabear watches are available in the United States for $975 through Utah-based SubGravity. Both models are currently listed as backordered, however.
In addition to the H3 and T1, Seabear showed the Head Up Dive Computer (HUDC) in Düsseldorf. Designed for professional diving applications, the HUDC is a hands-free dive computer with a head-up display cylinder that mounts to a full face mask or second stage regulator. The display sits directly in front of the diver's eye and delivers key information, even in dark, murky conditions that make a wrist-top computer virtually invisible. The color display looks very similar to the H3 and T1 and includes information like depth, dive time, heading, tank pressure and time to surface. The model sells for €1,200/US$1,350.
The video below shows the main features of the Seabear H3.