Scientists explore underwater frontiers with submersible tablet computers

phys.org | 4/17/2018 | Staff
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A team of experienced science divers has created the world's first submersible touchscreen for a tablet computer, whose applications are already helping marine scientists, law enforcement, explorers and other professionals toil beneath the waves and could usher in a new era of underwater ICT.

It's part of a new wave of subsea technology, which also includes pulsed-laser cameras capable of making 3-D videos of the ocean environment in real time.

Technology - Firm - Valtamer - Case - Metal

Finnish technology firm Valtamer has developed an impermeable, rugged case of metal and plastic to protect a touchscreen tablet from water up to 150 metres deep. The transparent front of the casing contains a plastic membrane that is responsive to touch. According to its inventors, this piece of sub-aqua kit could transform the work of professional divers.

'The traditional way of taking notes underwater is to write things down on a white board with a pencil,' said Valtamer co-founder Jouni Leinikki. A scuba diver using this tablet computer can now swipe to record gigabytes of data in an exportable and shareable computer file.

Biologist - Leinikki - Career - Life - Tablet

As a biologist, Leinikki has spent much of his career surveying marine life. He set out to develop the first underwater tablet when he became frustrated by the barriers that the elements present to electronics in his fieldwork. Following the technical development phase, funding from the EU is now enabling his innovation to reach its first customers.

'Valtamer spun-out of Alleco, a Finnish marine biological consultancy, to develop this product,' said Leinikki. The tablet is assembled from off-the-shelf hardware but has required over a year of research and development to optimise the right choice of materials necessary to withstand the extreme pressure conditions of working deep underwater.

Design - Valtamer - Prototypes - Tests - Pilot

With the design now finalised, Valtamer has produced its first prototypes and has been running tests with pilot users this year in real-world situations. The tablets...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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