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Dive Log Australasia

November 2003,
page 18 + Editorial Page

New Mask is a major breakthrough!
By Barry Andrewartha

Two months ago on a visit to Marseilles in France I was catching up with a group of friends.  All were divers with many years of experience and one of them, Michael Gronier, export manager for the French company Imersion was raving about a new mask he had just purchased. He was so impressed he made the statement 'this product is a major breakthrough, the most important new product probably since the Aqua-lung and the wetsuit!

On my return to Australia with Belinda’s assistance we checked out their web site, I was very curious to see and try this mask. I noted on their website that they would be exhibiting at the annual DEMA show in Miami Beach in Florida USA in October. As my tickets and hotel were already booked I made a decision to check it out for myself.

Arriving at DEMA at Miami Beach, Florida I immediately checked out the HydroOptix booth and I was stunned at what I found. The mask was everything and more than what I was led to believe. The fit was extremely comfortable and streamlined. The mask offers 350% more view than a flat mask (or twin lens mask). The panoramic view equals 170° vision widthwise and an amazing 90° vision vertically! Objects appear at their true distance, shape and size giving you superior eye-hand coordination! The razor sharp optical design is perfected by the same team NASA hired to fix the once fuzzy Hubble Space Telescope.

But for me the believing was in the demonstrating of the mask in their display tank on their booth. When I dive I have to wear contact lenses. While working a normal work day I wear glasses with bifocals for reading. Terri MacKay of HydroOptix asked me to take off my glasses and put on a normal flat glass lens mask and immersed my head in the tank… as I expected everything was blurry and impossible to see. She then gave me the HydroOptix MEGA Mask to try. I put the mask on and immersed my head into the tank – I couldn’t believe my eyes! Everything was crystal clear, it was like I had 20/20 vision again! From close up to distance I could see everything 100% perfectly... with no bifocals or contact lenses! Terri explained the optics of the dome lenses correct vision problems [a broad range of myopia, presbyopia and astigmatism] and what’s more there was absolutely no distortion!

Without hesitation I bought myself one -- black silicone with a black frame, now I was a true believer. I really believe the HydroOptix MEGA Mask is the most important invention in the diving industry since the dive computer -- that's how serious I am. Below see a few endorsements from others on the mask.

"This mask is truly an extraordinary thing; peripheral vision in the sea becomes reality. Humans have always looked at the sea through a flat window. Using the HydroOptix mask provides you with the real vision of how things truly are. Not just a new vision, but a true vision."

David Doubilet, National Geographic Underwater Photographer since 1976

"I love the mask. It works great. I cannot believe the field-of-view. That's the thing I am nuts over -- is how much more you see in the water. I've compared it to my flat mask with corrective lenses and it helps me see just as well."

John Lasseter, Director: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, & A Bug's Life; Exec. Producer: Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo

"I am happy to report that the test exceeded my wildest expectations. It was as if I was a teen again and didn't need glasses or contacts to see. My field of vision was fantastic, I can only imagine how this will help me when I go halibut hunting or when I teach my next class. I not only could read my gauges, but my peripheral vision was outstanding. This means I'll see all my students and everything that is going on around me."

Donald Hansen, Scuba Instructor, Woodland, CA

Editors Desk

WELCOME to November Dive Log -- Wow, didn’t the year go fast! It will be Christmas and the New Year before you know it!

During October it was my pleasure to attend the annual DEMA Show in Miami Beach, Florida USA. As always, it was a huge show with literally thousands of exhibitors (see page 42 of this issue). Lots and lots of new products -- the major manufacturers such as Mares, Dacor, Aqualung, SeaQuest, Cressi-sub, Suunto, Diverite, Scubapro/Uwatec, usa & SeaLife all had lots and lots of new gear.

For me the major new product was the HydroOptix MEGA Mask -- over 10 years in development I personally rate as the most important new product since the dive computer -- check out their website -- -- you'll be amazed! See my write-up on page 18 of this issue.

This year's DEMA Show also showcased the most amazing selection of digital imaging equipment for underwater use ever assembled. Experienced 'film' photographers told me 2 years ago it would be 5 - 8 years before digital was equal to or superior to film! Well guess what… the time has arrived.

Best wishes,

Barry Andrewartha and Belinda Barnes
Publishers and Editors
(diver for 50 years, publisher for 32 years)

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