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Sankt Stefan ob Leoben, Austria

Schuster A.,Seabear GmbH | Schuster A.,Laboratory | Buzzacott P.,University of Western Brittany | Buzzacott P.,University of Western Australia | And 10 more authors.
Underwater Technology | Year: 2014

For optimal safety a dive computer should be easy to use and the displayed information easy to understand. The present study examines the usability of dive computers and potential technologies to enhance safety. It should be noted that even if the ease of use of a dive computer is increased to an extent where it is intuitive to use, this does not release the diver from the recommendation to read the dive computer manual to safely dive with it.For the present work, 47 dive computer models by 14 manufacturers were purchased and the manuals of another three were studied. Function selection was noted for each model. Where selection required a combination of long and short pushes, or more than one button, it was considered necessary to read the instruction manual merely to modify settings in the dive computer.The mean number of buttons, switches or contacts per dive computer was 3.3 (SD 1.1, range 1–7). Twelve models (24%) did not have multiple functions per button, one model (2%) had a single multi-function and 36 models (72%) had multiple multi-functions per button. Accessing these functions required short or long push combinations. In 41 out of 50 (82%) of the dive computer models, the user interface was not intuitive.The majority of popular dive computers employ combinations of long and short pushes to access multiple functions, requiring training and mnemonic effort to operate the device. They are not intuitive, and scope exists to improve the usability and safety of dive computers. Possibilities are described including touch screens, a wheel to replace traditional buttons and near field communications (NFC). © 2014 Society for Underwater Technology. All rights reserved. Source


Buzzacott P.,University of Western Brittany | Buzzacott P.,University of Western Australia | Schuster A.,Seabear GmbH | Gerges A.,A+ Network | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of Computer Science in Sport | Year: 2014

Head up displays (HUD) are beneficial in diving situations when the diver uses both hands for an activity, e.g. photography, scientific work, operating a diver propulsion vehicle or during diver training. They remove the need to locate a submersible pressure gauge or remember to look at a personal dive computer. A new model of HUD, one that can easily be retrospectively fitted to a recreational diver's regulator hose outside the mask lens, has been developed. A pilot study of 93 open circuit recreational dives was conducted over one week in Croatia, to assess the HUD-user interface. An electronic survey was developed and completed twice after 16 dives. Mean maximum depth was 23 m and mean total dive time 38 mins. 34 dives (37%) were made with the HUD and 59 made with traditional submersible pressure gauges. There was good test-retest agreement (kappa score=0.9) between repeated surveys. The HUD was relatively easy to attach and could be operated without the necessity of reading the user manual. The HUD has two potential mechanisms for preventing rapid ascent injuries. Firstly, displaying an ascent rate warning directly in the divers' field of vision and, secondly, by reducing the likelihood of an out-of-gas situation. Source

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