AirBuddy is the smallest and lightest dive gear ever created – Digital Trends

Why it matters to you

This lightweight and compact dive system doesn’t require a tank and can be carried with you anywhere you want to go.

If you’ve always wanted to try scuba diving but have been put off by the high cost of gear and the prolonged certification process, a new Kickstarter campaign just might be a dream come true. The AirBuddy, which launched today on the crowdfunding site, promises to deliver a full diving experience that offers the ease and simplicity of snorkeling, making it more accessible to everyone.

Weighing in at just 17.2 pounds, the AirBuddy claims to be the smallest and lightest dive gear ever created. The unit is able to cut a considerable amount of weight by doing away with a traditional scuba tank altogether. Instead it employs a unique design, which includes an air compressor that floats on the surface above the diver, pumping fresh air through a flexible tube that is connected to a mouthpiece regulator. The device can reportedly run for up to 45 minutes on its rechargeable battery, allowing the diver to descend as far as 40 feet below the surface without being encumbered by heavy equipment in any way.

The designers of the AirBuddy are quick to point out that their gadget bridges the gap between snorkeling and scuba, delivering some of the best elements of both activities. For example, because the device is so lightweight compared to traditional dive gear, users can take it with them just about anywhere, allowing for more spontaneous adventures. And while renting and refilling a scuba tank can cost upward of $50 each time you want to use it, the AirBuddy only needs to recharge its batteries between dives. And unlike snorkeling, which keeps you relatively close to the surface most of the time, this device actually allows divers to stay submerged for extended periods of time. Best of all, the AirBuddy doesn’t require any kind of scuba certification to begin using it either.

Built specifically with reef diving in mind, the AirBuddy can be put to use in other ways too. For instance, it is a great option for dive training, as well as performing routine maintenance on a boat. Underwater photographers will also appreciate its ease of use and quick set-up time, allowing them to get in and out of the water quickly to capture a shot. The device will also likely prove very popular with beach resorts, which can offer guests an affordable and safe alternative to a traditional scuba experience. The AirBuddy can even be shared by two users at the same time with a reduced dive depth, or two units can be used in tandem as well.

The team behind the AirBuddy are hoping to raise about $128,000 to get the device into production. If successful, it is expected to ship in June of 2018 with a price tag of about $1,400. Early bird Kickstarter supporters can order one now for just $983 however, which makes the initial investment about on par with good scuba gear and lessons. The savings comes later on tank rentals and refills.


Galaxy S8 unboxing with sharks

Because there isn’t enough madness in the world already, T-Mobile has teamed up with Samsung to do an underwater Galaxy S8 unboxing video surrounded by sharks. The video features T-Mobile Product Manager Desmond “Des” Smith unboxing and attempting to provide an overview of the Galaxy S8 while in full scuba gear.

Of course, the promo isn’t really concerned with delivering a coherent explanation of the product, but rather showing it off in a high-octane environment. It does, however, manage to effectively highlight one new aspect of the Galaxy S8 — its underwater video recording capabilities.

Historically, it has been recommended that even water-resistant smartphones aren’t operated underwater. Sony also released an underwater unboxing video for its Xperia Z3, only to later warn users against this. On its “water and dust protection” support page, Sony states: “Do not use the device to take photos while performing any type of activity underwater, including diving or snorkeling.”

This function appears to be fully operational on the Galaxy S8, however.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs the competition

18 hours ago

Of course, Samsung probably isn’t worried about people taking this unboxing video too seriously, but it does firmly indicate to customers that the S8 and S8 Plus can be used underwater. Maybe not in a shark-infested ocean, but perhaps in a swimming pool or river.

The IP68 certification that the S8 and S8 Plus have means that the devices will survive in 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes. That said, this generally applies to fresh water — Samsung has instructions for what to do if its IP68-rated devices are exposed to any other liquid. Despite the promo, I still wouldn’t advise using Samsung’s phones in salt water.



Underwater VR Scuba

Pros: Simple and easy introduction to VR, eye-catching, immersion is passive but enjoyable, no nausea

Cons: Just three scuba diving “experiences,” all relatively the same, only iOS, needs more sea life variety, graphics could be better

VR Scuba Diving is a virtual reality app by Lime Works, LLC and is part of the growing wave of VR apps popping up on the scene. Luckily for those new to VR like myself the app can be used with or without headgear (I tried both ways) so all can take part in the experience.

After downloading the app from the App Store, there will be a two information screens showcasing which Google Cardboard headset works with the app. From there, tap “PLAY” to get to the actual game which brings up three “experience” options. The Taiwan Experience, Green Island Experience, and Wakatobi Indonesia.

You can choose to view these settings in fullscreen (image one) or through the Default Cardboard vision (image two). If you don’t have a VR headset, you can use the fullscreen method for a 360 VR experience. Those with a headset will use the latter. (PHOTOS 5 & 6 INSERTED HERE)

Taiwan Experience

After launching this experience, I literally laid in my bed just like, “Wow.” There are fish swimming around, colorful coral reefs, and your fellow scuba divers linger around you as silent companions (see below). The background music is generic but not distracting. The visuals will keep you entertained enough to forego the “soundtrack.”

Green Island Experience

The Green Island Experience was just as beautiful and relaxing—but it looks exactly the same as the Taiwan Experience. I found myself becoming disinterested quickly as I realized there wouldn’t be much difference between the two. There was nothing strikingly distinctive that made me feel they were unique from one another. Yet, the visuals were still enjoyable.

Wakatobi, Indonesia

Wakatobi was probably the most enjoyable experience. While much shorter than the previous two, the visual content in this experience was more rich. You swim with water snakes, colorful coral fish, and reefs. Unfortunately, you’re quickly taken out the experience by a title screen and then dropped back in to the beginning of the experience randomly. But I appreciated the different scenery.

All in all, VR Scuba is less a game and more of an experience. It’s fun but passive, as there isn’t much to do. The app is certainly acceptable for ages but I would steer this more towards kids as it would likely keep them entertained longer.

-Alexis Williams is a senior at New York University, who writes frequently about culture, film and Millennials of color.

Underwater Scuba Diving Gun-Rack!

Carrying around heavy guns can get tiresome.  Don’t you wish that somebody would get off their rear end and design a motorized gun carrier system for our under water hunting needs?  A Scuba Diving Gun-Rack!  -Me too!  Looks like there’s no more need to wait on such an ingeniously helpful device!  Enter the…

Sea Doo Seascooter DPV Dive Gear Mounting Board

Not since the Bass-O-Matic has there been such a clever and useful water-sports invention.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a test model.  Enjoy this video product explanation!



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