Feeds

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

Then click here

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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? ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.