Feeds

Want to know more about the world's first underwater phone?

Then click here

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

It may sound like a demented Tomorrow's World feature, but France Telecom (and Amphicom) have invented the world's first underwater telephone.

The French telco research department assures ease of use and a clear connection from any landline or mobile phone to someone at any depth of water. Seriously.

So, what you want to know is: How on earth does it work? Well, the phone is at the end of a long wire attached to a buoy on the surface of the water. The buoy contains a GSM unit and picks up the signals which it then relays down the wire to the phone.

The phone has a dial pad, a light and a buzzer, but - you may have guessed this - a special mouthpiece. We're still unsure the practicalities of doing this (France Telecom will hopefully get back to us with full details) but the person underwater bites down on the mouthpiece and presses a button which connects the call.

The sound vibrations reverberate in the skull and heads towards the ear, where, we are assured, the diver can hear the conversation perfectly well. Also - and this is where we are stumped, the diver can also talk back - although only in a CB radio type way.

And - get this - the diver can also call any number he fancies by tapping the keypad. So if you're married to a deep-sea diver, you need never worry about what time he'll be home from work again. Sadly, we don't have call rates yet.

Aside from having a chat with your local mermaid, what the hell does France Telecom think is the use of this phone? Well, it's very useful in fact. It's been tested with archeologists at the Alexandrine Research Center, Egypt, who are excavating the watery grave of the legendary Alexandria lighthouse.

With phone in hand, research can be sped up, preventing divers from having to go up and down all the time with important information. It also means that divers can relay information they come across immediately, rather than relying on their memory(directional problems are apparently frequent - which makes sense if you think about it). Then of course, a diver could warn of any danger or problem.

France Telecom reckons there is a big market here for all underwater work such as oil platforms, shipyards, scientific research, salvaging ships and civil security(?). It will be available for purchase by the end of next year, and the company is already looking at a wireless version using ultrasound waves or weak electrical currents.

Now ain't that brilliant? ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.