Italian manufacturer DiveSystem unveiled the iX3M series, a range of new computers, at DEMA.2014.
I must admit at first glance the iX3M is visually similar to a Shearwater Research Petrel. The iX3M is a chunky device with a high contrast colour display protected by Polycarbonate Sapphire coated glass, and has a depth rating of 300 metres / 984 feet.
It comes in three models - iX3m Reb (rebreather), iX3m Tech + and the iX3m Deep - and utilises a dual core algorithm; Buhlmann ZHL-16 B + VPM-B.
As you would expect the user is able to change their Gradient Factor. They can also adjust their 'Critical Bubble Radius'. Gradient factors are certainly proving to be a popular way for the diver to tweak their decompression profile, because the diver has some control over their initial stop depths and decompression times. However I suspect that the claim of adjusting bubble radius is wishful thinking. The adjustment will change the algorithm behaviour, but the true impact in some cases is very likely unclear.
Other features include the ability to programme the computer for fresh or salt water; an integrated GPS that uses five types of satellite systems provided by major nations; and a gas mix analyser for oxygen and helium. Each model has wireless connectivity allowing the user to update the operating system, and a rechargeable battery via USB.
Pretty much all technical divers understand that we are still decompression theory guinea pigs. It is therefore good to see that the i3XM series computers are DAN DL7 protocol compatible, allowing the user to download valuable dive data to the research team at Divers Alert Network.