Just as we were walking out the door of the DEMA show 2011 (Dive Equipment and Manufacturers) a friend handed us what looked liked a condom packet. It was labeled “Dive Safe, CO-PRO – Personal carbon monoxide protection.” As it turns out CO-PRO, by Lawrence Factor, Inc.a leader is air and gas analysis, is a simple and inexpensive tool for divers to test tanks for carbon monoxide.
The developers have also stretched the limits of their unique condom metaphor based pitch (see video). The packet contains a balloon and small chemical sensor disk. An online how-to video shows how to place the small disk in the balloon and inflate the balloon with tank gas for a quick test for any trace of CO. The disk can used to test multiple tanks.
What is revolutionary is the comparison between this simple, low priced (around $7.95 msrp) system and the other available options. The closest competitor is the the $300 plus option available from Analox.
The idea for the product, came from Robert Laughlin a Lawrence Factor lab director. He told ScubaGadget, “I just thought it would be a great idea if a diver could spot check his or her air. Especially for the deadliest gas to a diver, CO.” When he started thinking, the word protection and the whole idea of the condom look/idea came to mind.
I am also excited about CO-Pro because it may get divers thinking more about air quality. As we learned, while researching a previous article, divers may be putting too much trust in dive shops. We found that many shops do not test air regularly and/or have poor maintenance standards (see http://www.scubagadget.com/?p=746)
We gave the CO-PRO the DEMA show 2011 Best in Show award in the category of safety and accessories.
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