Here is a summary of what we saw on day three of the 2012 DEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we have a larger team on the show floor including Chris Chambers and Chen Yu Hsu. Chris and Chen are new divemasters and first time DEMA show attendees. We will have a special report from them on DEMA show as seen through the fresh eyes.
At the end of the show we will have a full wrap-up with “best of show” and other awards. In the coming months we’ll bring you in-depth reports and live-dive test of some products.
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- Ocean Technology Systems (OTS) has added a fully submersible, top of the line, underwater metal detector to their product offering. The OTS owner told us some of the unique features of the the Minelab Excalibur II. It can be used effectively in or out of the water to depths of up to 200ft (66m). The unit is rare in its ability to discriminate objects in salt water. OTS is converting the standard Excalibur II units so that users can listen to the detection audible responses and still hear communications through the same headset. The unit has a street price around $1350 sans the conversion kit.
- Midland Radio’s XTC point of view underwater video camera, which strongly competes with GoPro, now has a rating down to 200 fsw.
- Underwater Team Diving (UTD) amazed us with their contribution to the blooming recreational side-mount diving market. Recreational side mount diving is paradigm shift in diving that holds great promise for more comfortable and safer recreational diving. It also can allow divers with back problems a chance to keep diving during their back care periods. The UTD Z-Mount side mount system will be receiving the ScubaGadget best in category award (DEMA show 2012). We are giving them the award because they have the best feature set of all recreational side mount systems we found at the show. It is the only side mount system that is completely scalable from single tank recreational, to double tank technical, to multiple stages and deco trimix, and even to mCCR rebreather diving. Additionally it is the only system that eliminates the need to constantly shift regulators and cycle your breathing between the two tanks to maintain balance. We see this regulator swapping as a key psychological barrier that back mount recreational divers would have to overcome to accept side mount diving. UTD’s system includes a manifold as well as robust low pressure quick disconnects to permit divers to breath from one regulator throughout the dive. You can add an isolation valve to maintain two fully redundant air delivery systems. You can even separate and hand off one tank to another diver with little effort. The UTD system also has the lowest profile bladder (trim device in their words) in the field. We will have more in our DEMA Show 2012 wrap-up and in future articles.
- Hydraulics International was showing off their 2-stage electric gas booster which the claim is the quietest in its class
- Tank H2O had their, very cute 750ml stainless steel drinking bottles that look like yellow scuba tanks. The bottles are reusable and recyclable. The can be customized with the logo of any scuba business. They are made from food grade, 18/8 stainless-steel bottles and are BPA free.
- Pete “NetDoc” Murry head of ScubaBoard told us that Cochran Undersea Technology is the newest of the many manufacturer’s forums on ScubaBoard. The over 100 manufacturers forums, officially titled “Q and A for Scuba Manufacturers” are a place where SB users can communicate directly with manufacturers of scuba equipment and accessories.
- We learned that Green Force (aka Green Force/Kaplan Scuba) Modular Lighting Systems also has a serious jewelry design division. They were showing off a modified model of their Quadristar XPGH light head that was made of highly polished titanium with 348 diamonds inlaid into the three forward ring groves and around the lens. The value of the light head was around $15,000. They said they might even sell it if someone asked. For the rest of us, they were showing their new Titanium Tec-Pack which included the Quadristar XPGH 960 lumen light head, canister battery, umbilical and soft Goodman handle.
- NAUI Worldwide training agency told us that all of their basic courses are available as e-learning with new HD video.
- A division of Casio Computer Company called Yamagata Casio was showing off a transducer that attaches to the strap of your diving mask and allows normal spoken conversation even with the scuba regulator in the mouth. The unit is small enough to fit into a pocket. Transmission between units is via 32 kHz ultrasound. The transducer is designed to modulate garbled underwater speech to make it easier to understand.
- A different underwater communication device was presented by Marine Comms Ryukyu. This one looks like a very large underwater LED dive light and with good reason. This unit takes the speech an converts it into LED light beams. This then reconverted back to speech by the receiving unit.
- Deep Trekker’s has a mission to give anyone on the earth an opportunity to explore the depths of our world of water with an ROV. They have developed the world’s most affordable ROV. Not only is it only $2999, it seemed to us to easy to maneuver and loads of fun. This systems has a 360 degree pivoting camera inside a round housing. Unlike many ROVs, it requires no shore power because it runs on its own internal batteries. Additionally, this round ROV can make all the moves of other ROVs with only two propellers as opposed to the usual four found on other products.
- Patriot 3 Maritime P3M JetBoots – $20,000 (3-5k for recreational use next year with wi-fi controller). Propulsion up to 3 knots and weighs only 3kg in water.
- Indonesia is offering a photo contest $200,000 for in total prizes and the contest will last for 11 months! Will have 7 judges total to name the prize winner. Only Indonesia photos will be accepted. Look for listed affiliated dive shops. View 2012 winners here.
We will be posting our show wrap-up with trends and the best in show winners soon.