With all the great underwater nature documentaries available in high definition these days, we have no real interest in actually getting out of our chairs to go exploring among sharks, fish, and seaweed, but it's nice to know that there will soon be a non-self-powered personal submarine on the market in case we ever do decide to take the plunge. After three years of furious design, development, and testing, a Dutch company called U-Boat Worx is finally ready to release its battery-powered C-Quester 1 to aquatic enthusiasts worldwide, which will allow them to cruise down to depths of 50 meters at a maximum speed of 3 knots for up to two-and-a-half hours. The main advantage of this craft over traditional scuba diving is the fact that its cabin maintains a constant pressure of one atmosphere, meaning that you can surface immediately without having to sit through those boring decompression periods -- and if for some reason you can't surface, the on-board oxygen tanks and CO2 scrubbers will keep you alive for 36 hours or until help arrives, whichever comes first. Scheduled to ship sometime this month, the CQ1 is conspicuously missing a pricetag on the company's website; you have to call or write if you're interested, which probably means that pricing falls somewhere between a Sea-doo and a 7-series BMW.

[Thanks, Sytse S.]

HDTV Listings for July 11, 2006