Do you know how annoying it is to lose all signals after five or ten meters underwater? Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an underwater messaging app that uses sonic signals to communicate with other submerged friends. There are millions of people who could benefit from this technology, whether they are recreational divers or professional divers.
Water absorbs radio waves, so no signal can travel more than a few inches without being wholly lost. The tether is used to transmit data back and forth between submersibles and the surface, which is one of the reasons they need them. Furthermore, the Whatsapp has not offered many revolutionary changes in group chats.
Numerous aquatic species communicate through sound waves, which travel readily through the water. It doesn’t happen with humans, though – because our way of making sound only works in the air. So, divers have communicated through hand signals and other gestures since immemorial.
A professional diver will know dozens of signals, from low on air to danger to your right and anything else that might come up on the dive. Divers wish they could tap out a message as they do above the waves.
An idea behind AquaApp, a software experiment led by Ph.D. student Tuochao Chen and professor Shyam Gollakota at the UW. However, the system utilizes the modified form of chirping or prefers the phone’s speaker to make high-frequency audio signals to link the data rather than the radio.
This AquaApp comes with remarkable features, and expectations lead to underwater messaging or using microphones and speakers primarily used on smartphones and watches. Apart from downloading the underwater messaging app on the phone where people need a waterproof phone case rated for the depth of their dive.
It is not simple and easy to convert a signal into an acoustic one. The process is not that easy to convey a signal in an acoustic one. Although, all Android users can expect a change for Gmail that will update the Gmail notification icons. However, the transmitting and receiving waves constantly change according to the users’ location, relative speeds, and environment change.
The reflections amplify fluctuations in signal strength from the surface, the bottom, and the shore; likewise, the motion caused by nearby people, objects, and waves can disrupt data transmission. So we need to adapt to those factors for the real-tine to make sure AquaApp would work in real-world conditions.
Moreover, the app constantly recalibrates itself with a kind of handshake signal that the phone can easily hear and then report back the properties. For example, if the transmitter audio is received, the volume is low, and the highs are muted. As a result, the receiver broadcasts the information, and then the transmitter can change the transmit signal to use the narrow frequency band, more power, etc.
While experimenting in lakes and a bay with strong waves found that they could easily exchange the data over 100 meters, which is considered a shallow bit rate. This will be more than enough to record pre-programmed signals corresponding to ancient hand gestures. As a result, AquaApp’s code is open source and free to use.