Although scuba diving is a lot of fun, it can also give some people a feeling of claustrophobia. This is because the flat glass lenses of most masks offer little or no peripheral vision, limiting divers to only seeing what's directly in front of them. That's why the panoramic AAK 180 was created.
Made by Mexico's AAK Diving, the mask features a one-piece (but multi-layer) curved optical polycarbonate lens, with a scratch-resistant coating. This reportedly provides a full 180 degrees of distortion-free underwater vision, allowing users to see what's off to either side without having to turn their head.
Its strap is also unique. It has both a rubber retainer and a quick-release buckle in the back – releasing the buckle allows the mask to slip down onto the diver's chest (instead of sitting up around their neck), without coming all the way off.
AAK Diving is current raising production funds for the 180, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$120 will get you one, when and if they're ready to go.
This isn't the first time we've seen a curved-lens wide-view diving mask, however. Hydrooptix was producing a model several years ago, although it required non-nearsighted users to wear corrective contact lenses. Tribord's Easybreath also offers a wide field of view, although it's a full-face mask that only works for snorkelling.
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