If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I myself am a diver, so this blog continues to fuel my own curiosities. After many hours of searching around for a less cumbersome diving communications device. I would rather not wear a big full face mask while diving.
Ordinarily, if scuba divers want to talk to one another underwater, they have to wear special full-face masks that leave their mouths unobstructed by the regulator. Such masks are pricey and a bit cumbersome, however, so they’re usually only used by professional divers. However, Casio announced the development of a new type of underwater voice communications device that works with plain old “eyes-and-nose-only” dive masks.
Known as Logosease, the compact 3.8-ounce (108-gram) transceiver attaches to the mask’s retaining straps, resting against the side of the diver’s head. Using bone conduction (the vibrations carried through the wearer’s skull), its microphone is then able to pick up what the diver is saying.
Needless to say, their words are going to be a bit garbled, what with their having a regulator in their mouth, and a blocked nose. The transceiver incorporates “digital speech conversion technology,” however, that is said to make difficult-to-voice consonant sounds – such as n, m, b and p – easier to understand.
Like existing full-face-mask-based systems, the device transmits the user’s speech via ultrasound. Those ultrasound waves are picked up by Logosease transceivers worn by other divers, and played back as audible speech via each unit’s integrated bone conduction-based speaker. Users can switch between reception and transmission modes simply by tapping the device.
The system reportedly allows divers to communicate within visual range – a distance that could vary wildly, depending on water conditions. The unit itself is watertight to a depth of 180 feet (55 meters), which should be plenty for most recreational divers.
Upon learning all of this information, I was astounded that I had never heard of it. It seems extremely simply to use, and the fact that you just clip it onto your mask, like a snorkel, makes it seem almost natural for a diver.
I would love to have one of these for myself, so I did some legwork to find a retailer that would carry them. I came up with a single result, but they ship worldwide! With a price tag of $850 for a single unit, and $1700 for a pair, it still is less expensive then some other devices on the market.
The fair price tag, ease of use, and size all make the Logosease quite desirable to divers who want to talk to their buddies underwater.