Marine

Ultrasonic dive computer lets divers communicate through "pings"

Ultrasonic dive computer lets ...
The Oceans S1 Supersonic dive computer can send and receive underwater ultrasound signals
The Oceans S1 Supersonic dive computer can send and receive underwater ultrasound signals
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The Oceans S1 Supersonic dive computer can send and receive underwater ultrasound signals
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The Oceans S1 Supersonic dive computer can send and receive underwater ultrasound signals
The Oceans S1 Supersonic weighs 95 grams (3.4 oz), works up to a maximum recommended depth of 50 m (150 ft), can store 500 dives or 80 hours worth of data, and should run for about 10 hours on one wireless charge of its battery
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The Oceans S1 Supersonic weighs 95 grams (3.4 oz), works up to a maximum recommended depth of 50 m (150 ft), can store 500 dives or 80 hours worth of data, and should run for about 10 hours on one wireless charge of its battery

As any scuba diver will know, communicating while underwater can be difficult. Although it's possible to use hand signals, you still have to get other divers' attention so that they see those signals in the first place. The Oceans S1 Supersonic dive computer is made to address that problem, using an ultrasonic comms system.

Made by Swedish startup Team Oceans, the wrist-worn S1 provides all the usual dive computer data – things like digital compass heading, elapsed time, current/maximum depth, water temperature, required surface interval before diving again, and so on. Information is displayed on a retina-class 2.2-inch color LED screen, and can be transferred via Bluetooth to an iOS/Android dive log app on the user's smartphone once they're out of the water.

Additionally, though, if the user wants to get the attention of one or more other S1-using divers, they just tap a button on the device. This sends an ultrasound signal through the water (radio waves don't travel well underwater), which will be received by any paired S1s within a range of over 15 meters (45 ft).

The Oceans S1 Supersonic weighs 95 grams (3.4 oz), works up to a maximum recommended depth of 50 m (150 ft), can store 500 dives or 80 hours worth of data, and should run for about 10 hours on one wireless charge of its battery
The Oceans S1 Supersonic weighs 95 grams (3.4 oz), works up to a maximum recommended depth of 50 m (150 ft), can store 500 dives or 80 hours worth of data, and should run for about 10 hours on one wireless charge of its battery

Users of those devices will be alerted to the incoming "ping" via a haptic feedback system, that causes the computer to buzz their wrist. When they check the screen, a text message will tell them which diver sent it.

The Oceans S1 Supersonic weighs 95 grams (3.4 oz), works up to a maximum recommended depth of 50 m (150 ft), can store 500 dives or 80 hours worth of data, and should run for about 10 hours on one wireless charge of its battery.

It's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of SEK 2,999 (about US$324) will get you one – when and if it reaches production, that is. The planned retail price is €499 ($566). A package of two can be had for SEK 6,999 ($756) or €998 retail ($1,133).

As a side note, the existing Liquivision Lynx dive computer is already able to monitor the air supply of up to 10 divers, using tank-mounted ultrasound transmitters.

Sources: Kickstarter, Team Oceans

3 comments
D[]
Should set up pre-recorded messages to send to other divers. Could be useful. PING- I need assistance PING- My air is running low PING-The wreck is just below me PING- I found the treasure PING- The nude beach is this way PING- Don't point your speargun at me! PING- I disagree, they are called sea stars and not starfish, you need to refer to them by the appropriate echinodermata or I'm not diving with you anymore.
a_jean
Ultrasonic comms. I'll confess I don't know a whole lot about that, so I wonder what, if any effect it has on wildlife?
Expanded Viewpoint
Oh good grief, a_jean, these things don't broadcast a continuous stream of data out to the other units you may want to communicate to! And with a range of less than 50 feet, the signal strength can't be very high, that means the environmental impact will be too low to measure. So keep your buoyancy compensator from getting in a wad, OK? Many years ago I saw a gizmo that one attached to their tank to send out messages to other divers nearby. It was basically a marble encased with plastic and was held in place by a thin bungee cord. One pulled the ball away from the tank and then let it go, and as it snapped back, it would make a noise that one could use to send Morse Code signals. One could do something similar with a buzzer activated by a battery and a push button switch. Randy