Photokina 2014 highlights

Underwater

The driSuit Endurance smartphone case allows people to access all of their iPhone's touchs...

People just love their iPhones ... sometimes to the point where they don’t want to stop using them when they enter the water. That’s why the driSuit Endurance was invented. It’s a water- and shockproof case for the iPhone 4 and 4S, that allows users to still take advantage of all of the phone’s touchscreen controls – even when underwater.  Read More

The TechnoMarine Underwater Night Club

Of all the places you might meet a significant other, underwater is probably the last place that springs to mind. Hence, I guess, the novelty of an underwater nightclub. Created as a viral campaign for TechnoMarine Underwater watches, the unique nightclub "launch" was filmed at a military training facility with navy divers and the set was built 14 feet (4 m) underwater. The breathing helmets are from the commercially-available Sea Trek system, so perhaps it's not all that implausible after all.  Read More

NEEMO 16 crew members on the wet porch of the Aquarius lab (Photo: NASA)

With the first manned mission to an asteroid planned for 2025, NASA has sent an international group of “aquanauts” to the ocean floor off the Florida coast to test concepts for such a mission. The four-person crew will spend 12 days 63 feet (19 m) below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean in the Aquarius lab located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as part of the 16th excursion of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) program.  Read More

The mini-submarine used in Dive Commander

First-person video games are all very well and good, but there’s no getting around the fact that the person/vehicle that you’re controlling doesn’t really exist. If that sort of thing bugs you, then you might like Dive Commander – it’s a web-based game, in which you control an actual, physical mini-submarine via your computer.  Read More

Scientists have successfully used gallium indium phosphide solar cells to generate electri...

Although solar cells are proving indispensable for powering things such as electronic sensors on dry land, sensors located underwater have typically had to rely on batteries, or electricity piped in from photovoltaic panels situated above the surface. That could be changing, however, as scientists from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory have recently developed functioning underwater solar cells.  Read More

OpenROV is an underwater remote-operated vehicle that will be available in a kit or fully-...

Underwater remote-operated vehicles, or ROVs, are almost impossibly fascinating. They’re controlled by a surface-based operator, who watches their real-time video feed and pilots them via a long umbilical cable. Although the big-league multi-million-dollar ROVs are used for things such as exploring the wreck of the Titanic or studying hydrothermal vents, hobbyists have quite a bit of fun using their own home-built versions just to see what’s under the surface of the local lake. Unfortunately, even to build one yourself, you need to be pretty technically skilled. That could change, however, as the OpenROV project is developing “easy to assemble” kits – it may even provide li’l ROVs that are ready to go, right out of the box.  Read More

Guinness and Jump Studios have teamed up to turn a submarine into an underwater bar

Two hundred and fifty years ago, brewer Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease for his St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. To commemorate this event, the Guinness company could have rolled out a stretch limousine, but it decided to go one better by launching a “deep-sea bar” in the chilly waters of the Baltic off Stockholm, Sweden. Designed by London-based Jump Studios, the modified tourist submarine was commissioned as part of the Guinness Sea Experience competition, that included an underwater trip inside the Guinness sub as a prize.  Read More

Scientists have created an underwater speaker for use in studying dolphin communication (P...

While there’s little doubt that dolphins are saying something to one another with all their clicks, squeals and whistles, we’re still not entirely sure just what it is that they’re communicating. We may be getting closer to figuring it out, however, as Japanese scientists have created an underwater speaker that’s capable of playing back the creatures’ entire acoustic range. The next step - see how they respond.  Read More

GoPro has just released the Dive Housing, which reportedly allows HERO actioncam users to ...

Although you may have seen plenty of underwater videos shot using the GoPro HERO actioncam, its lens was never really designed for underwater videography – as we previously illustrated in a video report, the footage sometimes looks a little fuzzy. As of today, however, would-be Jaques Cousteaus can now purchase a dive-specific GoPro housing, that promises sharp images.  Read More

The Water Discus underwater hotel, scheduled for construction in Dubai

It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology's (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf.  Read More

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