University of Washington researchers have created an underwater communication app


Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have created an underwater communication app, the AquaApp, as TechCrunch reports. The app uses sound signals to send messages to other people who are also underwater.

(Photo: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
In this photo taken on August 18, 2021, a diving guide shows tourists a mosaic of Terme del Lacus, the ancient submerged Roman city of Baiae at the Baiae underwater park, which is part of the complex site of the Campi Flegrei archaeological park in Pozzuoli near Naples. – The statues that once decorated the luxury mansions of this seaside resort are now playgrounds for crabs off the Italian coast, where divers can explore palace ruins and domed bathhouses built for emperors .

The AquaApp

Mobile Intelligence Lab is the one behind the AquaApp. It used a modified form of “chirping” or the use of the telephone speaker to create high frequency audio signals to communicate data instead of radio.

In a press release, senior doctoral student Tuochao Chen said, “With AquaApp, we demonstrate underwater messaging using the widely available speaker and microphone on smartphones and watches. Besides downloading an app on their phone, the only thing people will need is a waterproof phone case rated for the depth of their dive.”

Due to changes that occur underwater, such as signal fluctuations, the app is constantly recalibrating with a sort of handshake signal that phones can easily hear and report characteristics. Therefore, if the sender tone is received but it is at low volume and the high end is attenuated, the receiver will send information and the sender can modify the transmit signal to use a frequency band more narrow.

The researchers also did on-site experiments in lakes with strong waves. They discovered that they could reliably exchange data over 100 meters. With this, it can be the answer to better, more reliable and safer communication for divers underwater.

Although dive gestures are still present, a digital alternative seems like a good thing and can serve as a communication medium.

The application code is open source and free.

Read also : Google Street View features underwater attractions for World Oceans Day

Underwater communications

There are many different methods of communicating underwater. Underwater signals can be acoustic, optical, electromagnetic and everything in between. Different methods have different characteristics and may be better at different things. Some, like acoustics, can travel long distances, while others, like infrared, can send information in greater detail.

The AquaApp is a great example of how people are working to find a better way to communicate underwater. It is not impossible to create wireless communication underwater.

It’s just a matter of finding the best way to do it. Since UW has been working with this for a while, we could see even better communication systems in the future.

Divers who value solitude the most but want the security of knowing they can get help in an emergency should definitely turn to an underwater communication system. It’s more of a safety issue than a fun one, so people should really think about it if they want to dive deeper.

Related article: Swarm of underwater robots sent as “robotic plankton” to study ocean currents

This article belongs to Tech Times.

Written by: April Fowell

ⓒ 2022 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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