Patent Application for Snapchat Scuba Mask
Cruise ship company Royal Caribbean has submitted a patent application for a dive mask that will allow Snapchat spectacles to used underwater.
The 'Seaseeker' mask allows a pair of Snapchat spectacles to be slotted in and out of an underwater housing, allowing the wearer to record their underwater experience for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 46m (150ft).
‘The Seaseeker will enable all adventure-seekers to get a front-row seat to the thrilling adventures found underwater in a way that has never been possible before,’ said Jim Berra, Royal Caribbean's SMO and SVP of marketing. ‘Snapchat continues to be a favourite channel for curious travellers and is the ideal platform for this first-of-its-kind undersea exploration.’
There are currently 10 prototypes being field tested by divers and freedivers in Mexico and Belize. Royal Caribbean hopes to be able to rent them to passengers later this year.
Part of the design philosophy is to encourage more exploration of the underwater world, but also a marketing strategy to make cruise ship vacations appeal to what Berra calls 'the maturing Millennial', an attempt to break the stereotypical idea that cruise vacations are only for the older generation.
While the Seaseeker 'goggles' are undoubtedly a nifty idea, they are being widely reported on tech blogs as allowing the used to 'livestream photos and videos from depths of 150 feet.'
Given that wi-fi and celluar signals disappear just a few centimetres under the water, it's difficult to see how a diver might livestream a passing whale shark down at 30m. This will only be possible once the user returns to the surface, assuming that there is 4G coverage and/or a powerful wi-fi signal available from the cruise ship.
As a fun gimmick for cruise ship passengers and the occasional diver, the Seaseeker is definitely an interesting novelty, but there are certainly better options available for the underwater social media fans.