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  • Writer's pictureMako

The whacky world of scuba diving inventions

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

Scuba diving is the perfect example of an activity which is entirely equipment dependent. Yet the basic design of scuba gear is essentially the same as it was nearly 80 years ago, when Jacques Cousteau took the first plunge under water using his invention – the Aqualung. The concept of strapping a gas storage device to your body and breathing compressed gas through a rubber hose remains, although now using much better materials of construction and with many safety features added to its original design.

In some areas of scuba diving equipment and scuba accessories have made remarkable progress since Cousteau. Dive computers and instrumentation, underwater cameras, scuba mobility systems, rebreathers, and underwater communications systems, amongst others, are great examples of innovation and technical development.

Then there is a plethora of diving equipment innovations which fall into categories such as

· fascinating

· I want one

· what’s the purpose?

· whacky

· dangerous

Make your own judgement…

O’Dive Personalized Decompression System

Designed, developed, and manufactured in France by Azoth. Available now.

Oxama – oximeter for freedivers

Oximeter that is equipped with biometric sensors and a voice assistant, and measures all the freediver’s fundamental parameters such as oxygen saturation, heart rate, depth, duration, orientation in space. Expected availability in July 2022.

Avelo Hydrotank

High-capacity, ultra-durable scuba tank with an integrated buoyancy control feature. Available now.

ORB Diving Helmet

Basically, a rebreather mounted inside a helmet. First introduced in 2015, still waiting for the finished product.

Aquabreather Hydroid

Another integrated diving helmet. Aquabreather's working principle is based on the superoxide-based multicomponent mixture, enclosed in two replaceable disposable cartridges, which absorb carbon dioxide CO₂ and convert it into oxygen О₂. First unveiled in 2019. Not commercially available yet.

Amphibian – Terrestrial Scuba Diving Simulator Using Virtual Reality

Under development at MIT. Not commercially available.

D-mask from ZJ-DDG

Promising full 180-degree field of vision and not requiring a regulator. It is equipped with a bone-conduction radio system that makes it possible to enjoy tunes or communicate with other divers conversationally, built-in LED headlamps, and a head-up projected display that indicates water conditions, depth, pressure, and weather all on the front shield. Nowhere to be found.

Scubus-S mask

A diving mask with integrated underwater camera, flashlight, HD display as well as communications devices. Keep searching for it.

Triton Gills

The “world’s first artificial gills rebreather.” Crashed and burned as a scam.

Airbuddy respiratory system

Basically, a battery powered portable dive compressor that floats on the surface. A single diver pack available at around USD $1500.

Dive Portable Lungs

Self-fill steel/aluminium tanks inside a small, portable bag. A starter kit currently available at around USD $400.

Sharkbanz 2 - Magnetic Shark Repellent Band

Exactly what is says on the tin

Shark Shield

Another shark repellent. Creates a 3-dimensional electrical perimeter around the wearer. The device apparently has been rigorously tested for over 20 years, so it should be available for those who really want to repel sharks, if you can even find any these days.

The Oceeanwings Wetsuit

Allegedly it allows an underwater gliding experience. You won’t find it in any dive shops.

The Scubster

A pedal-powered personal submarine for scuba divers. Really?

Rinspeed sQuba – underwater car

Based on Lotus Esprit. The sQuba was presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show on 16 March 2008. As of 2021 the "2008 Rinspeed sQuba" was listed as a project on the Rinspeed Web site, with no new information or indication of availability or price.

Sharknet – social diving tool

Nothing to do with sharks. It allows divers to remain connected to surface teams as well as friends around the world while out on a dive. Inevitable, I suppose?

No doubt there are many others. It’s a wide open field!


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