While there certainly are wristwatch-style dive computers, many divers prefer something with a larger full-color screen. Unfortunately, such devices can cost over $1,000. A group of South Korean entrepreneurs is out to change that, with an inexpensive device that converts existing smartphones into dive computers.
Known as the Diveroid mini, the gadget is waterproof down to 196 ft (60 m), and is designed to be mounted on popular underwater smartphone housings made by companies such as LenzO, WaterShot, Meikon and Mpack.
Powered by a replaceable coin cell battery that reportedly should be good for up to two years of use, the mini measures both depth and water temperature. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, it transmits that data to an iOS/Android app on the phone. That app in turn tracks the stats of each dive (duration, depth, temperature, etc) calculating and displaying important information such as the decompression stops required when ascending. It also utilizes the phone's compass to show divers their current heading.
When users are taking photos or shooting video with the phone's camera, the app automatically adjusts the white balance in order to compensate for the loss of perceived color that occurs at depth – in this way, it's not unlike the depth-sensitive Paralenz (formerly Octospot) scuba camera.
And when the dive is over, instead of manually transcribing all the data over to a log book, users can just instruct the app to transfer everything to its own built-in log. They can also use the app to share information about their dive, direct to social media.
If you're interested in getting a Diveroid mini, it's currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. A pledge of US$89 will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is $159, although keep in mind that you'll also need a compatible phone housing.
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