Scubapro Launches 'Human Factor' Mantis Computer

We are entering the age of the 'Quantified Self'.

This was recently confirmed when Fitbit - the company that manufacturers a suite of devices that track your steps, calories burnt and active minutes - floated on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2015. The Financial Times reported that within minutes of Fitbit making their public debut, their shares soared 52 per cent.

Divers tend to be more self-aware and engaged with their personal fitness and physiology, probably because of the nature of the sport. Being able to self-track your body is a natural step. We are curious and hungry for data.

With the launch of Scubapro's Mantis M1 it looks as though some of the thirst for this knowledge will be quenched. Scubapro state they have launched "a dive computer like no other. The first and only wristwatch-style dive computer to incorporate Human Factor Diving™ (a combination of Human Factors, Ergonomics, Biometrics and Wearable Technology) into its design, enabling you to live your life in dive mode, and create detailed 'real-time' self-tracking reports on how your body is functioning, both above and underwater."

Scubapro Mantis M1 Dive Computer, Human Factor Diving, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, X-Ray Mag, scuba diving, dive computer, scuba diving magazine

For once, let's consider the après diving activities first. This feature-rich timepiece has an alarm clock, and a stopwatch. Scubapro has also incorporated an altimeter that can track your hiking adventures. In the event that you decide to climb a mountain not long after diving, the computer is smart enough to alert you both visually and audibly 'that today this walk in the black forest is probably not one of your wiser decisions' - you are going to altitude too quickly. It also has a chronograph with lap memory for running, or you can switch it into Swim Mode to record your swimming time, number of swim strokes and swimming distance.

Scubapro has been quick to realise divers are ageing (and so are their eyes) and they have utilised the CHROMIS font on the Mantis M1, thus ensuring that the LCD segmented display has extra-sharp large alphanumeric characters that are quite readable underwater. The marine grade 316 brushed stainless steel casing has no holes in it. Instead the four rounded buttons are magnetic. They activate the relevant electrical reed switches inside, thus the casing is kept watertight. What does this practically mean for the diver? Because the unit is sealed, you are able to get your CR2032 battery (rated for 300 dives / 2 years) changed by a professional watch shop in a remote location, rather than returning the unit to Scubapro because the technician only has to worry about one compartment seal.

Divetech, Ceyron Powell, Divemaster, carrying stage cylinders, Inner Space, rebreathers, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, working in scuba diving
Ceyron Powell carrying stage cylinders during the Divetech's Inner Space rebreather week Photo Credit: Rosemary E Lunn / The Underwater Marketing Company

I get the feeling that Scubapro has designed the Mantis M1 to be a robust working tool for Divemasters and Instructors. By the very nature of our job, we can be quite tough on our equipment. For instance, the mineral glass face is deep set on the Mantis M1 to minimise the chance of scratching the face. (I was most upset when I scratched the face of my Citizen Promaster on a stage cylinder in March 2000). And strap security has also been considered. In the event that one pin fails, you won't lose your computer. It will remain on your wrist because it is secured by two pins. Small details but important ones.

Scubapro state the UWATEC ZHL-8 predictive multi-gas algorithm "is the only dive computer algorithm that includes a diver's breathing rate, heart rate and skin temperature as an indicator of workload during a dive, and adjusts the decompression plan to avoid risk factors." So lets discuss this.

Scubapro revealed at the 2014 DEMA Show they intend to incorporate a 'Skin Temperature Monitor' towards the end of this year (2015) so that this factor can also be integrated into the Mantis M1 algorithm. On the face of it, this sounds really quite exciting. In reality it probably means more questions than answers for the diver.

During your basic training you should have been taught when planning a dive in cold water, to plan the dive assuming the depth is a number of metres or feet deeper than actual. This concept conservatively pads the table, adding in a safety factor because temperature can affect a diver's ability to on and off-gas nitrogen. You are not going to off-gas optimally when you are cold.

PADI RDP Dive Table, Recreational Dive Planner, dive planning. Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, safe diving plan, plan the dive dive the plan, scuba diving
Scubapro marketing materials confirm they have included thermal management in their algorithm since the early 2000. There are a few wrinkles with this. The computer may be able to measure water temperature but it has no idea how you, the diver, is clad and what your personal temperature is. Are you gibbering in a semi-dry or nice and snug in a decent set of thermal underwear and a fully working 'dry' drysuit? By incorporating a Skin Temperature Monitor, Scubapro intend to measure, in real time, the skin temperature via a chest strap (that also measures your heart rate), and include this data in their decompression algorithm.

Scubapro Mantis M1 Dive Computer, Human Factor Diving, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, X-Ray Mag, scuba diving, dive computer, scuba diving magazineWhilst a chest strap will give some indication of surface skin temperature, the process may not be effective in measuring whole body thermal status. The monitoring of one point will not give you an accurate measurement, what is needed is the status of many points. However, as far as I am aware, this is the first dive computer to actively consider trying to incorporate real time diver temperature into their algorithm, therefore Scubapro should be given a pat on the back for this important development. Whilst the whole body status may not be wholly accurate, this is a necessary step to get us moving to where we want to be, ie full physiological monitoring and interpretation.

"This is a necessary step to get us moving to where we want to be, ie full physiological monitoring and interpretation

The Mantis can operate in four underwater modes - Apnea, CCR, Deco and Gauge. Three of these modes (Apnea, Deco and Gauge) have been pretty much standard on many computers for several years. With rebreathers becoming more popular it is good to see that manufacturers are now considering including a CCR option and the Mantis has a fixed PPO2 (partial pressure of oxygen) for closed circuit rebreather diving. The Mantis can also handle three gas mixtures, from 21% nitrox through to 100% oxygen, giving you the flexibility to carry additional staged gas in addition to your primary breathing gas.

Link to manufacturer or source: Scubapro

First Published: X-Ray MagazineJuly 2015 Issue 67, Page 34

Dive Rite Cuts The Cable With Their LX20 Handheld Light

Dive Rite, LX20, scuba diving light, handheld torch, Lamar Hires, Jared Hires, Lee Ann Hires, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, LUX, QRM, quick release mount, burn time, rebreather diving,

Dive Rite, the Floridian leading technical diving equipment manufacturer, has augmented their lighting range with the launch of the LX20. This handheld primary light has been created to suit any diver; be they entry level, an experienced recreational diver, a cave or a technical diver.

Divers tend to build a relationship with their equipment and it can sometimes be quite sad when you hang up something for the last time because your diving needs have outgrown it. Dive Rite has recognised this trend and developed a primary torch that will match its owners experience through out their diving career.
Dive Rite, equipment for serious divers, sidemount system, Lamar Hires, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba diving, rebreather diving

The LX20 is compact and light, weighting in at a mere 0.56 kg, making it the perfect size to dive either handheld, on mounted on the hand using Dive Rite's QRM (quick release mount) soft hand mount. And it seems this light easily outshines most corded primary lights on the market today because the LX20 delivers 20,000 LUX via an impressive  6° concentrated light beam for 4 hours on high power.

This little light has a depth rating of 500 ft / 152 m. And it has been designed to withstand the rigours of diving. The rotary magnetic on/off switch and a double o-ring seal body provides proven protection against flooding.

In summary it looks as though the LX20 is a versatile primary diving light with a good burn time -small in size and big on brightness.

 

Laura James Named as Oris Watch Sea Hero

Laura James, Oris Watch, Scuba Diving Magazine, Puget Sound, GUE, Megalodon rebreather, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Sea Hero, Emmy award, underwater cinematographer, environment, Jill Heinerth, Annie Crawley
Laura is an active GUE, NAUI and Megalodon CCR diver

We reported earlier this year that filmaker, underwater explorer and Puget Sound environmental diver - Laura James - had won her second consecutive Emmy in the ‘Environmental Feature / Segment’ category for her story ‘Solving the Mystery of Dying Starfish‘.

Now this respected technical mixed-gas-diving instructor and rebreather diver has been named as an Oris Watch Sea Hero by Scuba Diving Magazine.

This award - sponsored by Scuba Diving magazine and Oris Watches - recognises scuba divers who have made a difference, by working tirelessly to protect our oceans through education, conservation and action.

Previous award winners include Annie Crawley and Jill Heinerth.

If you know someone like Laura James, Scuba Diving Magazine is asking for your help in locating future Sea Heroes. You can nominate anyone you know who deserves this special award.