New Indiegogo Campaign for Head-Mounted Dive Computer.
An Indiegogo campaign has been launched, with some success, to fund a new scuba mask accessory: a dive computer featuring a Heads-Up Display (HUD)
The idea is not new - in 2007, Oceanic launched the Datamask and there was a similar product from Aeris called the Compumask, both of which included an LCD display in the corner of one of the lenses. Reviews at the time suggested that the display was very useful, but the added weight of the mask caused it to be prone to flooding. Once touted as game-changing products, neither seems to be currently available.
Likewise, another Indiegogo fundraiser was started in 2014 for the Scubus S, an 'augmented reality' mask with a wrist-controlled display. However, this seems to have quietly disappeared a year later after raising less than $5000 of the $200,000 campaign.
What makes the Thalatoo Māoï computer different is that it is a separate device designed to be strapped to the wearer's head with the display over the mask, rather than a mask with an integrated computer. It has a transparent screen, allowing for a complete field of vision through the device, while displaying the standard information provided by regular dive computers, which appears, thanks to a series of lenses, to be projected approximately 2m in front of the diver.
It is currently available for €290 to €390 through the Indigogo website, as opposed to the Datamask, which last had a retail price of £799.
The computer claims to be 'context-sensitive' in that it only shows you the information you currently require through descent, exploration and ascent, with two buttons providing extra information. The same information is also displayed on the front of the device, allowing your buddy to directly read your dive profile information for comparison. Both of the display automatically adjusts depending on ambient lighting.
In terms of the computer itself, the algorithm behind the profile calculations is the Bühlmann ZHL-16C with gradient factors, and the Māoï displays the information that we have come to expect from a standard recreational dive computer, all packaged into a lightweight (150g) device with a depth rating of 60m and a USB rechargeable battery which lasts up to 10 hours in dive mode.
So far, the campaign has raised $26,000 of the $50,000 that Thalatoo is asking for, with trial products available and an expected delivery date of the finished product by August of this year. Trials of the Māoï seem to have made an impression at the DEMA 2017 show, and it's certainly worth keeping an eye on the computer's progress, especially as the proposed retail price puts it in the middle of a very competitive market.