In his first blog to be published on Scubaverse.com, Sebastiaan van Aard looks forward to the future of scuba diving and what it may have in store for us…
What do you think of the future of scuba diving? What will it look like in 100 years from now? My current Suunto D4i dive computer already has more computing power than the Commodore 64 with which I grew up. I can watch the videos from my underwater camera on my smartphone. The materials from which our scuba equipment is made is becoming lighter and stronger each year, and the speed with which technology is developing is ever increasing. What is the future of scuba diving?
“It’s the year 2114 and I’m minutes away from a scuba dive. I’m quickly donning my temperature suit and clipping my regulator with air crystals to my BCD. So nice not to have that heavy tank on my back anymore like in the early days. As it is a rental, I enter my certifications in the scuba mask and at the same time log in on my digital logbook. Based on my certifications and experience the mask offers three different routes for this dive site. I also activate the fish ID option on the mask, as I’m not that familiar with all the marine life in the area. It’s nice to know which fish you’re looking at (and if any of them might be dangerous!).
Once in the water I activate my self regulating BCD and enjoy the comfort of perfect buoyancy. While submerging, the red line of my route appears in the HUD (Heads Up Display) of my scuba mask. In the right upper corner of my mask I can see detailed information from my dive computer. When switching screens, my buddy’s information appears. I can see we have almost the same amount air left. I can also see that we are connected with the dive center, who are watching our dive from shore. Suddenly a turtle is swimming by our side, watching curiously what we are doing. Without hesitating I activate the camera on the side of my scuba mask. What beautiful pictures and video. It is immediately uploaded to my digital logbook, ready to share with my friends if I want to. Project Aware are also notified and are receiving as much information about the turtle as my camera is able to detect. This way we can keep track of all marine life anywhere on our planet.”
Story or Reality?
A temperature suit
One the biggest challenges during scuba diving is keeping our core temperature from dropping. Currently we use a wetsuit or a dry suit. But what if your suit could monitor your body temperature and could readjust the heat in-or output to make sure your body temperature is always the same, whether you’re diving in the Arctic during winter or in the warm waters of the Caribbean?
Air Crystal regulator
Researchers have already developed a crystalline material that absorbs high concentrations of oxygen like a sponge from the air or water. Imagine if you didn’t need a scuba tank anymore. The crystalline material would be incorporated in your regulator, so you would be breathing the oxygen from the ocean you’re diving in.
The scuba mask
This is where the sci-fi part really kicks in. A scuba mask that has Google maps navigation, an HUD, a fish id option, an internet connection, and a camera (and let’s not forget it still helps you see underwater!). All in all less far-fetched then you might believe. Google Maps already has several dive sites mapped out. With Google Glass, would it be that strange to think ahead and see it being incorporated in a scuba mask?Camera, fish ID and connectivity to the world wide web – not really a stretch from where we are now. Furthermore, a dive computer showing your buddy’s information already exists.
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The self regulating BCD
Wouldn’t that be something. Always having the perfect buoyancy, no matter which depth you are or in which situation. I even see some safety benefits. In case of an emergency the BCD will automatically ascend, your dive computer will warn the dive center and medical staff will be alerted.
Some technologies already exist, others are in the development phase and some have yet to be invented. Still, it’s no secret that the scuba diving industry is slowly changing… what do you think the future of scuba diving holds? Let us know in the comments section below.