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LED devices let divers talk underwater

Posting in Energy

Can LED technology replace voice communication underwater?

A Japanese firm claims it has developed the "world's first" communication device that allows divers to "talk" to each other by using LED technology to convert voices into light signals.

The Okinwa-based firm, Marine Comms Ryukyu, has created the "i-MAJUN system," which combines a light-emitting diode (LED) flashlight with a diving mask that is able to convert a diver's voice into LED signals that blink. When a diver wishes to talk to another underwater, the diver says their message -- and then once converted into LED signals, the data is transmitted to the other diver. Signals are then converted back into speech and played back through speakers embedded in the diving mask.

It is hoped that creating a new method of communication underwater will help novices learn to dive, and may be useful in deepwater exploration.

The device has taken six years to develop and is expected to retails for 250,000 yen ($2,500).

Read More: Asahi Shimbun

— By on April 22, 2013, 5:36 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure