As with most well-established sports and outdoor activities, the gear used in scuba diving and snorkeling continues to evolve, although at times it feels like true innovation comes at a snail’s pace. But a Chinese designer who goes by the name of ZJ-DDG unveiled a new concept design for a dive mask that has the potential to be a real game-changer, bringing a host of interesting technologies that could alter the way underwater exploration and adventure takes place.
The first major change that the the D-Mask brings to the table is that it does away with traditional scuba mask design in favor of something much larger. Rather than just covering the eyes and nose, this model actually envelopes the entire face, securing itself above the forehead and below the mouth. This results in a 180-degree field of view, which is much broader than what divers get from a traditional mask. It also reportedly provides a more comfortable fit due to the increased number of points of contact with the wearer’s face. In theory, it should also make it easier to breathe as well since a snorkel or regulator isn’t in the diver’s mouth, but is instead attached to a port on the side of the mask itself.
The large glass lens does a lot more than just provide an expanded view, it can also serve as a projection point for a built-in head-up display. Divers could have information like current depth, location, remaining oxygen levels, water temperature, and other data displayed right on the inside of the mask, making it easier to keep track of those variables.
Other intriguing features include bone-conducting audio for listening to music and two-way communications with other divers or the dive boat on the surface. The D-Mask also comes with built-in LED lighting to help illuminate the deep, as well as a digital camera for capturing all of the underwater action. A companion mobile app for a smartphone would allow for the creation of playlists and sharing photos and videos to social media outlets.
Since this is still just a concept, there is no telling when or if it would actually be made into a real product. ZJ-DDG has admitted that there are a few hurdles to overcome, including how to keep the interior of the face shield from fogging up. Still, if this could go into production it would surely create a lot of interest in the diving community.