MUW Malaysia Diving Magazine

UTC texting device

Israelís Underwater Technology Center Ltd. (UTC) has showcased at the DEMA 2007 exhibition . Itís called the Underwater Digital Interface (UDI) and it allows up to 56 divers at a time to transmit pre-saved messages to other divers in the network, at a range of up to 500 meters (550 yards).

Depending on the individual needs of the team, divers can create up to 14 text messages that are saved in the memory of the unit. When a message is sent, a received signal activates an audible alert and lights up the graphic LCD screen to notify the recipient. The recipient sends an acknowledgement back to the sender.

Divers who find themselves in trouble can also 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.

If a diver suspects that his buddy or a nearby diver may be in distress, he or she can send a remote SOS signal to the diver. If the diver does not require assistance, he can choose to disable the signal. If he does not disable it, and is, in fact, in distress, receipt of the Remote SOS activates his unit to send an SOS. The SOS signal is received by the other divers using the UDI system, allowing them to navigate to the diver in distress following the graphical instructions on their clear view screens.

When a diver sends a Remote Homing message to a boat unit, the boat unit transmits a homing signal that enables the diver to easily locate the boat. He then follows the graphical instructions on his screen and easily locates his target.

Test divers have used the UDI in a wide variety of sites, including transmission and reception trials in different locations, depths and topography. The device worked flawlessly, allowing divers to send text messages to one another at distances of up to 500 meters away. Communication was clear and the UDIís text transmissions were able to cross potential barriers such as steel, rocks and large, thick coral reefs.