Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeScuba DivingHydroOptix?? is Now Shipping the MEGA?? Diving Mask

HydroOptix?? is Now Shipping the MEGA?? Diving Mask

HydroOptix announces the immediate availability and worldwide volume shipping of the MEGA-4.5d "Ultra-Wide-View Scuba Masks™". Prior to shipping, the company established a global DEC-Pro™ Network (Diving Eye Care Pro) — approaching 500 locations in the U.S., and growing. Additionally, HydroOptix is expanding into the retail channel with a VisTA™ Network of certified dive instructors. Nearby VisTA (Vision Trained & Authorized) scuba professionals, along with DEC-Pros, can be found using the HydroOptix web site locator.

The DEC-Pro Network makes panoramic true-size underwater vision affordable and available to almost everyone, especially nearsighted divers or for those who are already comfortable wearing contact lenses. The MEGA’s simple twin-hemispheres become negative diopter lenses when submerged, which is often a close-to-perfect vision-match for nearsighted divers. Divers with 20/20 vision will need to become ‘temporarily nearsighted’ by wearing plus power contact lenses. Most dedicated divers who previously never thought about wearing contacts agree that the truly awesome view is worth the effort.

The MEGA is the world’s first scuba mask ($150 US retail) that provides an unbroken panoramic field-of-view that is 350% greater than any flat mask. The MEGA expands the horizontal view to a continuous 170-degrees underwater, whereas the best flat mask provides 71-degrees when submerged. Flat masks deliver a narrowed, fuzzy-edged view that distorts the shape, size and distance of objects. The MEGA mask provides "true-vision," a razor-sharp, edge-to-edge view that is free of all distortions. Objects appear their true size and distance, just as they would on the surface with the naked eye. The DEC-Pro Network makes it possible for almost any diver — not just nearsighted -divers — to use the MEGA.

The global DEC-Pro™ Network (Diving Eye Care Pro) makes it easy for divers to get their disposable contact lenses from underwater vision experts. Almost 800 Eye Doctors have already registered from around the world, many of these offices have divers on their staff. HydroOptix uses a "Locator" on their web site for U.S. customers to find their nearest DEC-Pro and VisTA.

The US Navy, DAN, PADI and NAUI all agree that soft contact lenses are safe for diving, as long as the lenses are removed and disinfected or discarded at the end of the day’s diving activity. Modern disposable soft lenses are the most hygienic of all and have an excellent track record for not falling out during dives, unlike older hard lenses.

Accessories for the MEGA provide sharp above-water vision, including the MEGA CoverLens™ for $70 and the Surface Interval Kit for $85.

At the DEMA show 2000 HydroOptix unveiled prototypes of their MEGA and MAX™ masks. The MAX is designed for divers with 20/20 vision, and allowed all industry professionals to test the view through divable prototypes of both designs. The MAX will not ship until late 2004, with the patented optics integrated into a full-face mask. Unfortunately the laws of optics require the MAX mask to be bigger, heavier and more expensive than what most sport divers want.

These masks mark the culmination of a decade of development and the granting of more than 20 U.S. and international patents. The inventor, Jon Kranhouse, an acclaimed Hollywood cinematographer and avid scuba diver noted, "The ideas were hatched a long time ago, and recent advances in optical and mechanical CAD / CAM, polymers, molding techniques, coatings and contact lenses now make these masks possible."

For more information, you can visit their website at

Cliff Etzel
Cliff Etzel
Cliff is the former Freediving editor of He is now a freelance journalist and film-maker.