Deep diving while holding your breath is a risky hobby, so free-divers are bound to wear a special handheld computer on their wrist. However, a new face-worn device from Milan-based Oxama has a number of advantages. One is that it “speaks” to its wearer. It is the first speaking oximeter computer designed for free freediving.
Oxama is a soft silicone mask that is attached to the diver’s face with two elastic straps. It is simple to place glasses under it or a diving mask on top of it. There are two removable electronic modules inside the device above each driver cheek. One of the sensors monitors the depth, water temperature, time from the moment of immersion, descent/ascent speed and acceleration. The second one measures the heart rate and oxygen level in the user’s blood using an optical sensor on the skin, as well as the angle of the head – the latter is useful for freediver competitions, where it is important to swim down vertically.
All data is transmitted to the wearer through a bone conduction module. This device emits sound in the form of vibrations that travel through the cheekbones to the inner ear, where the person perceives them as a voice. As a result, the diver does not need to constantly bring a wrist computer to their eyes to read the information from the display.
Through the mobile app for iOS and Android it is possible to set up an audio module to one of four modes: “Quiet” – records all indicators, but speaks only at the beginning and at the end of the dive; “Alert” – speaks to the diver only if there is an excess of preset thresholds; “Chatty” – alerts and other preselected parameters pronounced every 15 seconds; and “Mute” – says nothing and only records data. The recordings are stored and filed in the diver’s dive log.
The Oxama talking freediving mask is currently available on Kickstarter. A pre-order is available for €499, while the planned retail price will be €999.
For all pertinent information related to Oxama, visit their website.