An international dive center manager with almost a generation of experience says a soon-to-be released device that enables divers to text message each other while underwater is a “winning product,” saying it’s helpful for all types of scuba diving.
Noam Azogui, the manager of Commercial & Scuba Diving Services (CSDS) centers in Israel and Egypt, tested out the new Underwater Digital Interface (UDI™) in advance of its public introduction later this month at the DEMA 2007 conference in Orlando, North America’s largest trade show for the diving, action water sports, and adventure travel industries. Azogui, who is a certified SCUBA instructor with associations and federations such as PADI, the Divers’ Action Network and more, used the UDI with a wide range of divers from different age groups and professional levels, ranging from recreational to technical and commercial divers.
“Our divers took advance of the UDI’s capabilities, using it at dives of more than 70 meters, and for as long as three hours at a time,” Azogui said. “All of our tests on the UDI were performed under extreme conditions in order to search for possible failures, malfunctions and deficiencies. We found that the UDI is both an accurate and reliable device, and helps compensate for real-time human mistakes better than other commercially available products.”
Invented and manufactured by Israel’s Underwater Technology Center Ltd. (UTC), the UDI allows up to 56 divers at a time to remain in constant contact with their ships and each other, simply by sending text messages using the arm-mounted wireless device, making undersea communications as easy as pointing and pressing.
Most importantly, the UDI can be used as an underwater safety enhancement device: divers who find themselves in trouble can use the UDI to send out an SOS signal that can be received up to 1,000 meters away, by other divers underwater and on the mother boat. The signal incorporates homing capabilities that enable the diver to be quickly located and rescued.
Azogui noted that his divers tested the UDI in a wide variety of sites, including transmission and reception trials in different locations, depths and topography; the device worked flawlessly, he said, allowing divers to send text messages to one another at distances of hundreds of meters. The results were excellent, he noted; communication was clear and the UDI’s text transmissions were able to cross potential barriers such as steel, rocks and large, thick coral reefs.
“The UDI is a quality product that provides useful and advantageous functions for all recreational, technical and commercial divers, diving facilities and companies,” Azogui concluded.
The UDI will be on display at UTC’s DEMA 2007 booth (#1597); more information is available in advance of the conference at utc-digital.com