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February 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Coming Soon: Texting While Diving

from the February, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

It may be peaceful down there, but if you think diving allows you to escape from the tyranny of your cell phone, think again. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing portable ultralow- frequency and very-low-frequency transmitters capable of penetrating some materials that otherwise block signals -- and that includes water.

Scuba divers would be able to use a ULF channel for low bit-rate communications, like text messages, to contact each other and communicate with groundbased assets. Initially, this has a military application, but once perfected, we guess it won't be long before there is a commercial offering -- and never again would you be able to say that you were underwater and out-of-range!

Is this is a wonderful technological advance or simply a pain in the butt?

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