ORB Dive Helmet: Is This New Diving Helmet The Future Of Scuba Diving?

ORB Dive Helmet: Is This New Diving Helmet The Future Of Scuba Diving?

Disclosure: We are reader supported, and earn affiliate commissions If you find a good deal on DIVEIN, you click to the retailer, and you buy the product, we get a commission of the sale. That’s is how we pay ourselves. It does not make the product pricier for you. when you buy through us.

New diving helmet seeks to revolutionize scuba diving

Scuba diving is an equipment-heavy activity. In fact, ‘equipment-heavy’ doesn’t even do it justice, scuba diving is equipment-dependent.

As in, without fairly large amounts of equipment, it is simply not possible to dive. And by and large, the equipment we use today, is the same as was used in the early years of the sport.

Is this the new gear we need to bring diving into 2016?

Scuba diving gear hasn’t changed much, in its basic form, since Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the Aqua Lung in the 1940’s.

There have been updates since, sure, with the equipment becoming more streamlined and sophisticated, the invention of rebreathers and sidemount, but nothing that really matches the breakthrough that the original Aqua Lung constituted; a large object strapped to the torso (often the back), hoses feed breathing gas to the diver, who inhales it through a mouthpiece.

Nope, this is not from a movie

A new conceptual design, created by Thomas Winship, seeks to be exactly that breakthrough.

Named the ORB Helmet, it looks like a design out of the upcoming Star Wars movie, but it is in fact a helmet-mounted rebreather, that seeks to revolutionize scuba diving.

It will essentially compress the tanks/rebreather unit on the divers back, the hoses, the mouthpiece, and even the dive mask into a single, self-contained unit. Strap on the helmet, and you’re ready to jump into the water.

New design might make diving easier for the ears

Adding to this is the fact that the helmet covers the entire head of the diver, much like a motorcycle helmet, also covering the ears.

As the helmet is pressure-resistant, that means that there is no pressurization of the ears, and with that, no need to equalize as we descend, and reduced risk of barotrauma to the sensitive parts of the inner ear.

Communicating underwater with bluetooth

Using Bluetooth technology, the helmet would allow scuba divers to communicate with each other (provided they are within close proximity), and two helmet-mounted LED lights would give the diver light during night diving, cave diving, or wreck dives, without occupying his or her hands.

So is this really new in diving?

However, the product is as stated only in its conceptual phase. And at this point, there are several unanswered questions (yes, this is the killjoy portion of the article).

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First of all, modern-day rebreather technology is not at the level yet where a full-fledged rebreather can be squeezed into a unit of this size, at least not for dives of any extended duration or depth. Second, the limited information on the product’s Behance page calls it an “O2 Rebreather Helmet” (using O2 as the O in ‘ORB’). That would seem it is intended as an oxygen rebreather, which is a subset of rebreathers intended for extended, but very shallow dives, typically only up to 15 feet, as the pure O2 used in the system becomes toxic beyond this depth.

Oxygen rebreathers are largely used by military and commercial divers. It is not far-fetched to imagine these groups of divers be interested in a helmet such as this one, but it would place it outside the useful range of recreational divers.

On the more detail-oriented side of things, Bluetooth communication is a good idea, but most products using Bluetooth have extremely short effective ranges. Bluetooth generally has a range of 30 to 40 feet through air, but as water is many times more dense than air, the range is severely reduced. It might be that divers would need to be within a few feet of each other to make the Bluetooth link work.

And the LED lights are an interesting feature, but head mounted dive lights have been seen before, and are largely not used by recreational divers, as you risk temporarily blinding your dive buddy every time you look at them.

So the concept has a few kinks to work out, but more importantly, is limited by today’s technology. However, if they do manage to create a working version of this, look for me at the front of the line to test it out.

In his first blog to be published on Scubaverse.com, Sebastiaan van Aard looks forward to the future of scuba diving and what it may have in store for us…

What do you think of the future of scuba diving? What will it look like in 100 years from now? My current Suunto D4i dive computer already has more computing power than the Commodore 64 with which I grew up. I can watch the videos from my underwater camera on my smartphone. The materials from which our scuba equipment is made is becoming lighter and stronger each year, and the speed with which technology is developing is ever increasing. What is the future of scuba diving?

“It’s the year 2114 and I’m minutes away from a scuba dive. I’m quickly donning my temperature suit and clipping my regulator with air crystals to my BCD. So nice not to have that heavy tank on my back anymore like in the early days. As it is a rental, I enter my certifications in the scuba mask and at the same time log in on my digital logbook. Based on my certifications and experience the mask offers three different routes for this dive site. I also activate the fish ID option on the mask, as I’m not that familiar with all the marine life in the area. It’s nice to know which fish you’re looking at (and if any of them might be dangerous!).

Once in the water I activate my self regulating BCD and enjoy the comfort of perfect buoyancy. While submerging, the red line of my route appears in the HUD (Heads Up Display) of my scuba mask. In the right upper corner of my mask I can see detailed information from my dive computer. When switching screens, my buddy’s information appears. I can see we have almost the same amount air left. I can also see that we are connected with the dive center, who are watching our dive from shore. Suddenly a turtle is swimming by our side, watching curiously what we are doing. Without hesitating I activate the camera on the side of my scuba mask. What beautiful pictures and video. It is immediately uploaded to my digital logbook, ready to share with my friends if I want to. Project Aware are also notified and are receiving as much information about the turtle as my camera is able to detect. This way we can keep track of all marine life anywhere on our planet.”

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Story or Reality?

The future of scuba diving

Off course this is a story of my own making, but could this be the future of scuba diving? Let’s take a closer look at some the developments I mentioned.

A temperature suit

One the biggest challenges during scuba diving is keeping our core temperature from dropping. Currently we use a wetsuit or a dry suit. But what if your suit could monitor your body temperature and could readjust the heat in-or output to make sure your body temperature is always the same, whether you’re diving in the Arctic during winter or in the warm waters of the Caribbean?

Air Crystal regulator

Researchers have already developed a crystalline material that absorbs high concentrations of oxygen like a sponge from the air or water. Imagine if you didn’t need a scuba tank anymore. The crystalline material would be incorporated in your regulator, so you would be breathing the oxygen from the ocean you’re diving in.

The scuba mask

This is where the sci-fi part really kicks in. A scuba mask that has Google maps navigation, an HUD, a fish id option, an internet connection, and a camera (and let’s not forget it still helps you see underwater!). All in all less far-fetched then you might believe. Google Maps already has several dive sites mapped out. With Google Glass, would it be that strange to think ahead and see it being incorporated in a scuba mask?Camera, fish ID and connectivity to the world wide web – not really a stretch from where we are now. Furthermore, a dive computer showing your buddy’s information already exists .

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The self regulating BCD

Wouldn’t that be something. Always having the perfect buoyancy, no matter which depth you are or in which situation. I even see some safety benefits. In case of an emergency the BCD will automatically ascend, your dive computer will warn the dive center and medical staff will be alerted.

Some technologies already exist, others are in the development phase and some have yet to be invented. Still, it’s no secret that the scuba diving industry is slowly changing… what do you think the future of scuba diving holds? Let us know in the comments section below.

ORB Dive Helmet: Is This New Diving Helmet The Future Of Scuba Diving?

ORB Dive Helmet: Is This New Diving Helmet The Future Of Scuba Diving?

Disclosure: We are reader supported, and earn affiliate commissions If you find a good deal on DIVEIN, you click to the retailer, and you buy the product, we get a commission of the sale. That’s is how we pay ourselves. It does not make the product pricier for you. when you buy through us.

New diving helmet seeks to revolutionize scuba diving

Scuba diving is an equipment-heavy activity. In fact, ‘equipment-heavy’ doesn’t even do it justice, scuba diving is equipment-dependent.

As in, without fairly large amounts of equipment, it is simply not possible to dive. And by and large, the equipment we use today, is the same as was used in the early years of the sport.

Is this the new gear we need to bring diving into 2016?

Scuba diving gear hasn’t changed much, in its basic form, since Jacques-Yves Cousteau invented the Aqua Lung in the 1940’s.

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There have been updates since, sure, with the equipment becoming more streamlined and sophisticated, the invention of rebreathers and sidemount, but nothing that really matches the breakthrough that the original Aqua Lung constituted; a large object strapped to the torso (often the back), hoses feed breathing gas to the diver, who inhales it through a mouthpiece.

Nope, this is not from a movie

A new conceptual design, created by Thomas Winship, seeks to be exactly that breakthrough.

Named the ORB Helmet, it looks like a design out of the upcoming Star Wars movie, but it is in fact a helmet-mounted rebreather, that seeks to revolutionize scuba diving.

It will essentially compress the tanks/rebreather unit on the divers back, the hoses, the mouthpiece, and even the dive mask into a single, self-contained unit. Strap on the helmet, and you’re ready to jump into the water.

New design might make diving easier for the ears

Adding to this is the fact that the helmet covers the entire head of the diver, much like a motorcycle helmet, also covering the ears.

As the helmet is pressure-resistant, that means that there is no pressurization of the ears, and with that, no need to equalize as we descend, and reduced risk of barotrauma to the sensitive parts of the inner ear.

Communicating underwater with bluetooth

Using Bluetooth technology, the helmet would allow scuba divers to communicate with each other (provided they are within close proximity), and two helmet-mounted LED lights would give the diver light during night diving, cave diving, or wreck dives, without occupying his or her hands.

So is this really new in diving?

However, the product is as stated only in its conceptual phase. And at this point, there are several unanswered questions (yes, this is the killjoy portion of the article).

First of all, modern-day rebreather technology is not at the level yet where a full-fledged rebreather can be squeezed into a unit of this size, at least not for dives of any extended duration or depth. Second, the limited information on the product’s Behance page calls it an “O2 Rebreather Helmet” (using O2 as the O in ‘ORB’). That would seem it is intended as an oxygen rebreather, which is a subset of rebreathers intended for extended, but very shallow dives, typically only up to 15 feet, as the pure O2 used in the system becomes toxic beyond this depth.

Oxygen rebreathers are largely used by military and commercial divers. It is not far-fetched to imagine these groups of divers be interested in a helmet such as this one, but it would place it outside the useful range of recreational divers.

On the more detail-oriented side of things, Bluetooth communication is a good idea, but most products using Bluetooth have extremely short effective ranges. Bluetooth generally has a range of 30 to 40 feet through air, but as water is many times more dense than air, the range is severely reduced. It might be that divers would need to be within a few feet of each other to make the Bluetooth link work.

And the LED lights are an interesting feature, but head mounted dive lights have been seen before, and are largely not used by recreational divers, as you risk temporarily blinding your dive buddy every time you look at them.

So the concept has a few kinks to work out, but more importantly, is limited by today’s technology. However, if they do manage to create a working version of this, look for me at the front of the line to test it out.

Source https://www.divein.com/diving/orb-dive-helmet-is-this-the-future-of-scuba/

Source https://www.scubaverse.com/future-scuba-diving/

Source https://www.divein.com/diving/orb-dive-helmet-is-this-the-future-of-scuba/

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