The Challenge 

Scuba diving is a sport which requires lots of attention to safety precautions, but divers may sometimes overlook the potential danger and tend to not stay with their dive buddies because of the physical constraints and mental bias. Thus, a dangerous situation may occur. 

The Opportunity

How might we better inform divers to stay with their buddies and not to overestimate their capacities or underestimate dangers?

The Solution

Splash is a product (a dive computer combined with an app) that provides scuba divers peace of mind and good preparation when they go adventuring by providing ways to find and notify their buddies underwater and providing crucial information to plan the trip ahead.

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1. OVERVIEW

Splash

As a diver myself,  I know that a good diving experience comes from good preparation and safety consciousness. Splash is an IoT device that seeks to increase scuba divers’ safety level by providing ways to find and notify their buddies through a diving computer mounted on the diving mask. In addition to that, splash also cultivates a safer diving community through an app for people to share pictures and check out specific diving places’ difficulty levels. People can also check their diving histories to anticipate their next dive. Splash provides divers peace of mind and good preparation when they go adventuring.

Objective

Explore possibilities for the design of a wearable device and an app to help scuba divers.

Process

Secondary and primary research—synthesis —ideation—storyboarding—prototype—branding—video production

Team

​Individual 

My role

Design research 

Concept development

UI &UX design for App

Video production

Tools

Sketch

Premiere

Length

4 weeks

2. RESEARCH

Scuba diving is fun, but sometimes also dangerous...

Scuba diving is a sport which requires lots of attention to safety precautions. While diving, one mistake is still permissible but divers may encounter life-threatening dangers when making a series of mistakes. ​During my diving trips, I encountered many divers( mostly experienced divers and a few novice divers) that did not follow the safety requirements and operate under potential dangers. 

The buddy system is commonly used in scuba diving, but sometimes hard to sustain when divers are intrigued by their surroundings or lose visibility and audibility of their buddies. Sometimes, divers would underestimate the difficulty level of the diving spot due to misinformation or optimistic bias. Therefore, a dangerous situation may occur.

Fatal/injury cases caused by human error

Through Divers Alert Network (the largest association of recreational scuba divers in the world)’s annual diving report, I found that most of the fatal cases occurred while divers are not with their buddies (intentionally separated, unnoticed missing or solo diving). 

DAN's annual diving report (2016)

Primary research

To better understand why divers would be separated from their diving buddies, underestimate diving difficulty, overestimate their capacities stated in the report and physical/mental influencing factors underwater, I did secondary research and conducted interviews with 5 divers (1 technical diver, 2 underwater photographers and 2 recreational divers).  They go on diving trips frequently(over 6 trips per year) . After the interview, I synthesized the information. 

Process

Insights and opportunity areas

​Through the interview with divers, I summarized some aspects of why divers may be in dangerous situation.

5 slides

I narrowed down to one problem statement

Can we better inform divers to stay with their buddies and not to overestimate their capacities or underestimate dangers?

3. IDEATION & DESIGN

Brainstorming

With these questions in mind, I brainstormed 30 ideas. I evaluated the ideas based on the Fogg Behavior Model which shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt(trigger). Then I combined two ideas that increase divers’ ability and provide a trigger. 

Storyboarding 

After evaluation, I picked and combined the ideas which stood out. To envision how the divers might experience using Splash(dive computer and app), I created a storyboard.

How it works

 I finalized my concept into a mobile app used on land paired with a heads-up-display underwater dive computer. The mobile app informs divers about the diving spots around the world systematically and show essential information of the day. The diving computer attached to mask displaying crucial data and helps divers stay in the group with their diving buddies through ultrasound/sonar signals received and transmitted by transmitter attached to the tank

This is my dad

This is me

Information Architecture(app)

4. FINAL PROTOTYPES

Key Features(Dive computer)

View all of the information you need effortlessly

While in normal mode, the dive computer displays all the essential data(depth, remaining air, dive time, no decompression limits and safety stop time). The heads up display helps you to track info without looking away from the front view . 

Know where your buddy is and dive safely

in the range

out of  the range

If dive buddies are not within the safety range of each other, it will display the relative positions of the divers until they get into safety range. You can also change modes by pushing the button on the side of the diving computer. The blue dot represents the location of the dive buddy while the triangle icon in the middle always points to the direction you're going.

Key Features(app)

Plan for the day and track your daily progress

Prepare your next dive for the day through the data Splash provides, such as temperature and surface interval time. The Bluetooth integrated dive computer will automatically sync your dive logs to the app. 

Explore thousands of diving sites and choose the one that suits you 

While planning a diving trip, you can review the local weather conditions updated in real time, difficulty levels, and pictures of the diving site. Choose the appropriate difficulty level for the next trip. 

Share your adventure with the community

Be inspired by other divers' posts and go on new adventures. Share your experiences with other like-minded people.

Clickable prototype

Physical prototype and package

transmitter

dive computer

5. NEXT STEP

1. Pitching the concept of Splash to implement in existing diving organizations like Padi or Shearwater, both of which already have a large user group.

2. Further validate with divers about the concept.

3. Further research on the feasibility of technology.

© 2020 Yuan Gao