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October 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Underwater Texting?

from the October, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Hand signals don't allow us to exchange much information underwater, as we all know. Furthermore, to communicate anything two divers must be looking at each other. Will it be long before we can start texting each other?

Computer scientists at the University of Washington are working on AquaApp for smart phones, which would give users 240 pre-set messages, organized into eight categories. to send to their buddies.

It's still in development but in tests, the team found the app was effective up to 98 feet. For short messages - e.g, an emergency SOS - the message can travel nearly 330 feet. This is all managed without a huge drain on battery life. Of course, it does mean both buddy divers would both need to take their phones down with them in underwater housings.

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