Divers who struggle with underwater navigation always say, “One of these days they’ll make waterproof GPS!”
Well, that day may be here. Alleco, a Finnish startup founded by divers, developed Alltab: an underwater tablet computer complete with a functional touchscreen and GPS navigation.
The tablet – which comes standard with a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, but can be customized with other tablets — is designed to connect with external devices, like a GoPro, via WiFi or Bluetooth, underwater.
Alleco says that commercial divers and military members are the main target for the Alltab because of its potential for data collection and communication. But recreational divers could find plenty of uses for the device that Alleco says is depth-rated to 90 meters in its basic version and 150 meters in the pro model and usable with or without gloves.
“Military divers are very excited about the navigation possibilities that the underwater tablet brings, while research divers appreciate the possibility to collect data directly into an electronic format,” says Jouni Leinikki, CEO of Alleco.
“A special pressure adjustment system was needed to allow the touchscreen to work underwater,” says Leinikki. “The solution that Alleco developed is patented and allows the diver to use the tablet at an depth, without any need to address for changes in the surrounding pressure.
“In respect to Wifi signals, these are microwaves, which can only penetrate water a few centimeters. With special antennas close to the tablet and a special antenna cable attached to them, the range can be extended to tens of meters while maintaining a reliable signal.”
A depth-rated, touchscreen tablet with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities is a bit like a flying car. Divers have been waiting for this technology to emerge, but have yet to see a working model make its way to the recreational dive market. If the Alltab performs as well as Alleco envisions, it may just make that leap.
To see more about this new product, check out Alleco’s website.