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August 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 30, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Wearables Come to the Dive Industry

from the August, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Wearables Come to the Dive IndustryFirst there was the FitBit, then the Apple Watch, now there's the Mantis. Scubapro just announced its wristwatch- style dive computer, priced at $600, which comes with a host of health-monitoring features that track your biometric data. The Mantis has an "adaptive algorithm" that not only factors in the usual data like bottom time, depth and gas mix, but also breathing rate, heart rate and skin temperature (via a chest strap that will be available by year's end) to calculate the safest decompression times. It also has a calorie counter that's synced to your heart rate while diving.

John Bantin, our veteran gear tester, studied the computer recently and said, "The biometric approach may be admirable, but the bigger Scubapro Galileo computer already offers this. However, at times I forgot to wear the heart-rate monitor with mine and it made no difference to the decompression mandated in my dives up to 170 feet deep. Few divers will buy the heart-rate monitor if it is an optional extra.

"Measuring skin temperature is a good idea. While some computers take into account water temperature, what's the difference between a diver cozily warm in a drysuit in very cold water and a diver chilled to the bone in tropical water but wearing an inappropriate wetsuit? However, I'm not sure whether these features are a sales-aid rather than of practical use. There may be an application among divers who are obese. Seen any of those on dive trips lately?"

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