November 28, 2022
Reach new depths with the Oceanic+ app and Apple Watch Ultra
Available today on Apple Watch Ultra, Oceanic+ turns Apple’s most durable watch into a powerful, easy-to-use dive computer
Today, Oceanic+ comes to the Apple Watch Ultra, turning even the most rugged Apple Watch into a fully capable, easy-to-use dive computer. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, Oceanic+ lets recreational divers take the watch they wear every day to previously unattainable depths — up to 40 meters, or 130 feet, to be exact — with its all-new depth gauge and water temperature Sensors on Apple Watch Ultra.
The Oceanic+ app on Apple Watch Ultra and the companion app for iPhone provide all the key features of an advanced dive computer, powerful dive planning, and a comprehensive post-dive experience.
“At Huish Outdoors, our goal is to nurture the human spirit of adventure,” says Mike Huish, CEO of the company. “Oceanic+ on the Apple Watch Ultra is one of the biggest innovations to hit the diving industry for a long time. We’re creating an accessible, shareable, and better diving experience for everyone.”
When the first divers took to the seas in the 1950s to explore the depths of the world’s waters, diving computers were still about 30 years away. By the 1980s and 1990s, many certified divers were still putting pen to paper to create their own dive tables. Using a Bühlmann decompression algorithm, they will track their depth and time spent in the water to ensure they can safely dive below the surface without overloading their bodies with nitrogen.
Today, the Apple Watch Ultra completely changes that experience, giving recreational divers a more convenient and accessible device with all the features users already know and love on the Apple Watch.1
“There is now a companion that conveys clear and timely information to divers,” says Andrea Silvestri, vice president of product development and design at Huish Outdoors, who led the creation of Oceanic+. Test the Silvestri Oceanic+ on the watch underwater to prepare the app for launch.
He credits the Apple Watch Ultra for its intuitiveness, allowing divers to stay in the moment while focusing on their environment without the burden of mental calculations and complex button clicks that other dive computers require. “From the large, bright Retina display of the Apple Watch Ultra and the dual-core S8 SiP, to its compact size, to the Digital Crown and dedicated action button, to the haptic touches, which are well-designed and very noticeable in water, there’s nothing quite like this in the water,” Silvestri says. Diving by now.
Designed for endurance, exploration, and adventure, Apple Watch Ultra is WR100 and EN 13319 certified, an internationally recognized standard for diving accessories, including depth gauges.2 The 49mm titanium case and flat front sapphire crystal reveal Apple Watch’s largest and brightest display yet, which—up to 2,000 nits—provides exceptional visibility underwater. The action button can be customized to launch the Oceanic+ app in the virtual screen, and while diving, holding the action button will indicate the compass direction.
Silvestri remembers the early 1990s when he designed his first computer. “Most dive computers use a similar algorithm, but people basically need a degree to understand what the information is telling you,” he says. “One of the most revolutionary things about our new app is the user interface: the colors, the animation, with a single arrow telling me to ‘go up’, ‘go down’, ‘stop’ – this is the easiest way to convey that information.”
“One of our first goals was to make it intuitive,” says Mike Hewish. “People who know how to use an Apple Watch already know how to use this dive computer, because it tells them things in a simple format that they can understand. The navigation menus are simple — scrolling with the Digital Crown and using the Action button, you can navigate and use all the functions of the dive computer while you dive.”
In the dive chart, users can set their surface time, depth, and gas, and Oceanic+ will calculate a No Deco time—a metric used to set a diver’s time limit at a given depth. The chart also incorporates dive conditions, including tides, water temperature, and even updated information from the community, such as visibility and currents. After a dive, users will see data—including GPS entry and exit locations—automatically appear on their Apple Watch Ultra, along with a summary of their dive profile. A summary on the Oceanic+ iPhone app provides additional information, including a map of entry and exit locations, as well as depth graphs, rate of temperature climb, and no-pressure limit.
One of the most intuitive Oceanic+ features on the Apple Watch Ultra is haptic feedback, a design feat of both hardware and software that enables the watch to tap users’ wrists through a series of vibrations, allowing divers to feel notifications underwater — even through a wetsuit. 7 mm.
Although haptic feedback is a convenient and simple feature for casual users, underwater it plays an unexpected role: eliminating the noise of echo sound.
“Proper reproduction in water is much more powerful than in air,” Silvestri explains. “So if I’m diving with someone and their dive computer is beeping, I can’t really tell if it’s my beep or theirs. I hear the beep, but I don’t know the direction. Incorporating touches designed for the Ultra, we’ve made the experience very personal; It’s a nice nudge to guide you.”
The Oceanic+ app also offers complications that provide important information and tools to users at a glance, including no-fly time, surface time, quick access to a dive chart, dive settings, current altitude, maximum altitude allowed, and a quick access back button in the app. From planning a dive, to the first jump, to the first step back on land, users can track and compare all the details of their dives and share their experiences with fellow divers right from the app.
Ask any diver to describe what it feels like to dive in, and they will share a variety of sensations. For Huish, it’s an element of the trip and pure relaxation. Silvestri calls it a state of meditation: “It’s your time to yourself – it’s just you and your breath, surrounded by fish and a wonderful environment.”
Nick Hollis, Huish Outdoors’ Oceanic brand manager who became a certified diver when he was 10 years old, talks about the thrill of venturing into the unknown. “The most exciting part is when you make the initial descent to a reef or a shipwreck—whatever you intend to see,” he says. “You might be lucky enough to see a giant manta ray, a school of hammerhead sharks, you could see dolphins. It’s really an unknown every time you make that leap.”
Olivier Laguette, Vice President of Marketing at Huish Outdoors, likens it to a trip into outer space—there’s a weightlessness and a freedom that can’t be achieved on Earth.
Oceanic+ is designed to help anyone looking to immerse themselves in the adventures that await them in the underwater world. The app partners with Apple Watch Ultra to handle all the complex calculations required to explore the ocean safely, providing simple, easy-to-understand cues and instructions before, during, and after a dive.
It marks a new chapter in a century of exploration–and a half-century of computing advancement.
“One of the few sports where the computer has to be kind of is scuba diving,” says Silvestri. “Not everyone is a scuba diver every day, but diving is something we think people should be able to enjoy, spend time in the water and develop a greater respect for nature. And that is the main message actually, going back to Jacques Cousteau 50 years ago: we need to Riding this wave; we need more people in the water.”
Pricing and availability
- The Oceanic+ app for Apple Watch Ultra is available to download today from the App Store.
- Oceanic+ requires an Apple Watch Ultra running watchOS 9.1 paired with an iPhone 8 or later, and an iPhone SE (2nd generation) or later running iOS 16.1.
- The Basic plan is free, and includes many popular dive functions, including depth and time, as well as logging your most recent dives.
- For access to decompression tracking, texture loading, site mapping, and unlimited log capacity, Oceanic+ is it $9.99 (US) per month or yearly vs $79.99 (we). Family Sharing is also available for $129 (US) annually, allowing access for up to five people.
- Always follow diving protocols, dive with a buddy, and have a secondary device.
- Apple Watch Ultra has a water resistance rating of 100 meters under the ISO standard 22810. Apple Watch Ultra can be used for recreational diving (with a compatible third-party app from the App Store) up to 40 meters, and for high-speed water sports. Apple Watch Ultra should not be used for diving less than 40 meters deep. Water resistance is not a permanent condition and can diminish over time. For additional information, see support.apple.com/en-us/HT205000.
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