French tech startup unveils diving-use cruise controller at Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo


This is a guest post authored by “Tex” Pomeroy. He is a Tokyo-based writer specializing in ICT and high technology.


Surf’s up!

As things start warming up this Olympic year (though the venue is in the southern hemisphere, readying for cooler seasons) the seaside beckons. However, danger lurks for the unprepared.

According to marine sports expert Nobunori Saito - looking forward to the 2020 Tokyo event where the first-ever Olympiad surfing competition promises dynamic video footage - open waters are most difficult to negotiate.

As is, waves can be fickle, but considering other factors in combination, diving… whether for recreation or professionally, as I understand from my chat with industry people… is perhaps one of the marine activities requiring the utmost in care.

notes the ShoreBlend owner.

Along with the recent increase in diver population encompassing not only hobby purposes, including marine animal companionship and underwater photo-tourism, but also industrial ones ranging from aquaculture and construction to maintenance and resource search, there has been an explosion in the number of diving accidents and associated fatalities.

PADI’s wading in but…


Specifically for the diving field, in addition to governmental regulations there are industry organizations (in Japan, PADI Japan which is an office of the half-century-old US-based organization) that ensure proper use of equipment like the scuba tank. PADI is officially Professional Association of Diving Instructors, but comprises a membership of not instructors alone but a large non-instructors as well.

The constant conundrum which, no pun intended, surfaces for divers is how to deal with the need to ascend from a deep (what with water pressure being quite powerful than laymen think, “only” 30 meters or more) dive as quickly in the safest manner possible when such need arises. The fact is, some people still lose their lives due to decompression problems known popularly as the bends even with all of mankind’s advances against the seas.

Diving into new markets

Visit Seabed CEO Frederic Castellanet on the left

With this as a backdrop, Nice-based tech startup Visit Seabed unveiled its new diving equipment in Japan. Highlighting the fact that Asia has a promising market, President Frederic Castellanet chose the Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo to introduce its first product, the result of two years’ research efforts. Named BCDmaster, this item retrofits any Buoyancy Control Device (aka BCD) in vest form which provides for a hands-free, automatic ‘cruise control’ upon ascent, though it features a manual override as an added safety measure.


It seems most befitting that compatriots of the late Jacques Cousteau…who described for posterity’s sake the nitrogen narcosis or l’ivresse des grandes profondeurs issue vexing deepsea challenges…found an elegant solution to operational difficulties posed by such conditions in addition to the setting. BCDmaster, with 100% watertightness realized using resin encasement of induction-charge type battery/electro-circuitry, enables dynamic hovering and microadjustments for stability/autostop upon rising.

Preparing for The Season


As the summer months loom ahead, other related market activities can be espied on the horizon; just in terms of equipment there are dive computers and regulators beyond BCD vests, for example. It is also a fact that much of our planet is covered by the ocean, filled with opportunities. Further stories will surely appear for our readers’ benefit.

As regards BCDmaster, an announcement of a version meeting the American specification is slated later this month. M. Castellanet plans to visit Japan again during May, to showcase upgraded versions of his creation for Asian users, perhaps with an eye on Indonesia to the south. It behooves a close look at this French venture… after all, Tahiti and New Caledonia are prime destinations too.