2024
Joseph Billington
Product Design Engineering BSc
Interaction
Shoal Dive Separation Solution
Picture of current MIB team

Project Description

Scuba divers are encouraged to participate in the buddy system, diving in pairs, to improve safety and support underwater. However, 83% of scuba diving fatalities occur alone without a fellow diver there to assist. Separation between buddies can occur due to several reasons, ranging from poor diving practices, currents and reduced diving visibility. Current products enable communication between divers through vibrations, audible sounds, or preset messages. However, the more complex the communication available, the increase in associated price which excludes the average recreational diver. No publicly available product enables live tracking of a dive buddy and specialist product solutions, which do offer live tracking, are sold on a contract basis. Shoal uses an array of ultrasonic transceivers to communicate the diver’s position and triangulate the incoming signal from the buddy’s system. Using frequencies between 55 kHz and 110 kHz means communication is “silent” to the diver whilst achieving a maximum range of 45 metres. The product system uses proprietary clips, allowing the system to adapt to different users needs and system requirements. The parasitic design gives the system a streamlined profile and mounts to pre-existing equipment to reduce burden on the diver, all while catering to different dive tanks, BCDs and dive suits. The diver is provided with real time updates of the buddy’s position and key information through a UI optimised for extreme scenario stress responses.