Smartphones can already be used to remotely control a variety of vehicles, including flying toy helicopters
, or even starting your car
. Now remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) can be added to the list with New England-based company Aquabotix rolling out its Hydroview vehicle. Equipped with LED lights and a HD video camera, the vehicle transmits a live video feed to an iOS- or Android-based smartphone, tablet, or a laptop and can be remotely operated by tilting the phone or tablet or via the laptop's touchpad.
If nothing else, the iPhone 4’s ability to shoot 1080p high-def video has certainly done one thing – provided inventors with things to make. There is currently what could almost be described as a gold rush, as products are being designed to augment the smartphone’s camera, to the point that it could be used for all of the same things as traditional, stand-alone video cameras. Some of these innovations have included interchangeable lenses
, a mini SteadiCam
, and a rugged helmet-mount system
. Now, an underwater housing system for the iPhone 4 and 4S is in the works, which will allow users to shoot undersea video at depths of up to 100 feet (30.5 meters).
The troubled World Project
in Dubai, which has been riddled with problems since the global financial crisis in 2009 including rumors that the islands are sinking, may have found salvation. Architectural firm Dutch Docklands has developed, designed and engineered a master plan for 89 floating islands, giving current World investors the opportunity to purchase a floating paradise. The solution would provide investors with an option that's more feasible and cost-effective than building on the existing land masses, whilst also incorporating several environmental benefits.
Ocean exploration has always been salted with the allure of sunken treasure, and with precious metal prices hitting new records and new technologies allowing access to deeper sites, that Siren's call has never been greater. Recently, a team of Odyssey Marine Exploration (OME) technicians and archeologists announced finding not one, but two British shipwrecks off Ireland, the SS Gairsoppa
and the SS Mantola
. Only 100 miles and a World War apart, the two hulks rusting away in the deep Atlantic collectively contain what could prove to be millions of ounces of silver.
U-Boat Worx has introduced a worldwide private charter program for its range of mini-submersibles. The charter fleet includes the three-seat C-Quester 3
and two person C-Explorer 2
, with the deep-diving, five-passenger C-Explorer 5
joining once it's completed late this year.
Kodak has expanded its pocket camcorder lineup with the announcement of the water-, dust- and shock-resistant cousin of the Playfull camera, the Kodak Playfull Waterproof Camera. Coming with a lower price tag than the Kodak Playsport
actioncams, the new arrival can be immersed to a maximum depth of 10 feet (3 m) for up to two hours and records videos in 720p (1280 x 720) resolution.
While NASA makes plans to send man to Mars
, there’s still so much we don’t know about our home planet – particularly when it comes to what lies beneath the ocean waves. Over the past few years we’ve seen the emergence of a number of submersibles that bring underwater exploration to a wider audience, such as the C-Quester
lines from Uboatworx and the EGO
semi-submarine boat. The latest to catch out eye is the ICTINEU 3, a three-seater (one pilot and two passengers) submersible that is designed to dive to a maximum depth of 1,200 meters (3,937 ft), which its makers claim will make it the world’s ninth deepest submersible.
GoPro’s HERO HD
is certainly one of the most popular actioncams on the market, perhaps more so now that its long-awaited LCD viewfinder/playback screen
is available. As is the case with other digital cameras, however, the glare of direct sunlight can make it difficult to see what’s on that screen. Also, as we noted in an actioncam video comparison
, the HERO’s underwater shots tend to be a little on the soft-focus side. Well, two new products from camera gizmo-maker XSories are designed to address both of these situations.
We were intrigued by the Amphibious 1000's
proposed floating suites and private underwater lounges, however The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort hosts the real deal! Situated in the tropical gardens on Rangalifinolhu Island, access to the resort is only by seaplane and while it may sound like any other exclusive get away, the Conrad Rangali will have you dining with stingrays and on special occasions, sleeping with the sharks.
Currently being developed by defense contractor QinetiQ in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), "Blackfish" is a robotic jet-ski designed specifically to patrol harbors and search for underwater intruders. The remote-controlled craft carries an array of sensors that allow it to "see" under water and can travel at speeds of 40 mph (64 km/h) as well as tracking at lower speeds than conventional jet-skis.