Originally Posted by ChadLittle
Damn.... imagine, going scuba diving and posting on the forumns....
Imagine driving to work in 170mph winds with .2% visibility...
|20th October 2000
Underwater Laptop Developed.
The diver was 40 metres deep, enveloped by blue water when he pulled out his computer - Not just any computer but a newly developed underwater one that maps reefs, monitors sea life and reads the water's temperature!
The computer, called the SeaPC, is the latest device to make a splash at the National Coral Reef Institute, a research institution at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Centre in Dania Beach. Such a technology will help local and global scientists better understand how a coral reef is faring. Is it healthy or is it dying? How badly did last year's hurricane or this summer's oil spill endanger local reefs? "We could look at a reef and return to see if anything has changed,'' said Stephen John, an engineer with Australian-based Nautronix Ltd., which developed the computer with the Australian Institute of Marine Science and WetPC. Australian scientists were on hand Wednesday showing Nova's Dania Beach crew how to use the computer during a field test.
Scientists say by using the computer they will be able to better network and share information on reefs here and down under. The computer is more practical than logging information on a plastic-coated paper with a pencil underwater, scientists say. "Imagine you are a diver with a lot of gear, it is difficult to write,'' said Peter Moran, managing director of WetPC. "Divers used to use pad and pencils underwater but it wasn't very practical. The idea is to bring a general purpose computer to help divers perform tasks they would on a regular laptop.''
The computer looks like something you would see in a video arcade. You wrap your hands around two joysticks flanking a flat monitor. The grips feature five buttons used to control the computer. Graphic symbols on the display tell the diver which keys to press to activate a specified function. The screen logs the diver's swim path, depth and map and shows the position of objects on the seabed. Divers may access reference material from a database and funnel data through the water to the surface over long distances. It is powered by batteries and its charge lasts eight hours. It is neutrally-buoyant so the diver can drag it almost anywhere underwater.