UEMIS Zurich: the Social Dive Computer

Several Uemis Zurich dive computers and a colorful assortment of user-replaceable covers

Uemis is a Swiss-based dive computer manufacturer that makes a solid dive computer, the “Zurich“, that is aimed at the rec-tec segment of scuba divers.  I spent a good amount of time over at the Uemis booth at the DEMA Show this past year, because of one attribute that surrounds Uemis and its products: they’re hard to understand.  I mean this in the nicest possible way, and it should not be confused to mean that their products are hard to use – they’re not.

The biggest thing standing between Uemis and widespread adoption of their dive computers across the industry is that there are numerous great features to explain, features that are not usually found in a dive computer and are thus hard to convey to a potential adopter.  The Swiss company aims to offer much more than just a great dive computer to its users while they’re in the water; the company is genuinely trying to wrap its product and accompanying services around the Uemis owner’s entire “dive life”.

This is very atypical approach for a dive computer maker, to most of whom dive log software appears to be an afterthought.  Whether or not consumers will appreciate and adopt Uemis’ offerings is still unknown, and at least for now, is also somewhat obscured by the fact that said offerings have been difficult for the company to effectively convey.   Here are a few things I think that the Uemis folks would like people to know:

  • Their dive computers read tank data wirelessly, but the wrist-mounted units also communicate directly between one another, allowing the user to actually see his/her dive buddy’s entire screen, rather than one data point such as tank pressure.
  • The Uemis dive log software is cloud-based (i.e., it lives on the Uemis web site, rather than on an application on your computer) and allows for social interaction that is typically reserved for  social media web sites.  Normally I would downplay such a set of features as being extraneous to diving, but in Ueumis’ case the interface is both robust and sophisticated to the point where I could see this as a precursor to world where our dive computers eventually connect us in useful ways, much as our iPhones do today for non-diving related purposes.
  • The Zurich dive computer has a solar panel on it and is capable of recharging to a useful level within a reasonable amount of time, say, on a dive boat.  This is fantastic and will certainly be appreciated by anyone who has ever had a dive computer battery die during a trip.
  • The Uemis computers have inexpensive, user-replaceable front covers.  No, I don’t just like this feature because I can switch between blue and pink – it’s also useful because the buttons are a part of the cover, and should they be damaged for any reason, it’s an easy fix in the field.

"Uemis DiveWorld" is a social, web-based application that allows users to share dive log data and profile information

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