The technology has arrived… And avid divers may have heard about an underwater social network!
This new network called Aqwary is paving the way for new methods of communication both with fellow divers and the entire world.
Divers know the general hand gestures they must use under the surface.
Like using a thumbs up to indicate that you’re returning to the surface or making a chopping motion near the throat to say you’re out of air.
But what if the other divers in your group aren’t paying attention? The problem with hand gestures, Aqwary determined, is that it requires you to be visible and noticed by the other people in your party.
In response, the company developed an underwater communication system that they introduced to the diving world in 2014.
This small, palm-sized computer, known as the Smart Console, created an under-the-surface social network of up to 70 divers.
The device allowed divers to post updates on their air supply status, location and other important at-the-moment information.
Using underwater microphones called hydrophones, the device can communicate with divers in a 100-meter radius.
It uses ultrasound technology to bypass the problem of being well below the surface.
The majority of electromagnetic waves like those used by cell phones or even Walkie-talkies fail at about a meter below the water., but the Smart
But the Smart Console more or less handles the depths by employing the same ultrasound communication methods that a wide variety of sea life uses.
The Smart Console was apparently a good start for the folks at Aqwary.
They are now taking this communication method to an entirely new level by introducing a new high-tech buoy that not only connects with other divers, but with the world.
This new venture uses the same ultrasound methods to communicate, but instead of just transmitting basic text messages from diver to diver, it can connect with computers on the above-surface dive boat.
Essentially, the underwater dive computer converts a single text into an ultrasonic signal.
It then shoots it through the surface to a buoy which in turn links up to computers on board the vessel.
So if someone submits a text or message that says “I’m 75’ ft. under the water right now and having a blast!” this message will be propelled to Aqwary’s buoy, and then forwarded to a laptop on the boat, and then broadcasted to the internet.
These new dive computers can tackle more than Facebook posts, too.
While the battery life is limited, with very slow bandwidth, users will also be able to share warnings about weather, updates on research projects and other small tidbits of info throughout a dive trip.
This new technology is in its very early roots, and there’s no telling how far it can go when partnered with other apps or companies.
Is Pokémon Go in the future for the underwater world? It’s a possibility.
But in the meantime, these new advancements are a great sign that even if you go underwater to escape the modern world and social media, the technology is there, just in case you need it.
If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton. We’ll be happy to chat with you about scuba.