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Diving with fluid goggles

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 2, 2001
I was fortunate enough to by a pair of fluid goggles from Bill during the time that Eric was only selling them in batches of 15 with each pair costing several hundred dollars. Shortly after I bought my pair Eric found new support and was selling some of his for as low as $75. I suspect the pair I have are an A or B model and it is truly remarkable how clear I can see with them. I used a saline solution to fill the goggles as the water in the crater has a lot of particles and is used heavily by the scuba crowd so I was uncertain of his quality and I was wearing my contacts.

I was diving with them up at Homestead Crate last weekend thoroughly enjoyed the absence of fogging, leaks, and the need to equalize. They are tremendous innovation but still need much work. I found the frame to be uncomfortable after about an hour as it presses directly on the orbital bone structure. There is some double vision that I was able to minimize with subtle shifting of the goggles to align the focal points but I was unable to even eliminate it entirely. Nor was I able to eliminate the prism refractions which was somewhat disorienting and distracting.

Because of these strengths and weaknesses the model I was using is of clear value in competition freediving as there is no loss of air for equalizing but they are of limited value for spearfishing or prolonged freediving sessions.

It would be nice if the focal area was larger and could be engineered to fit a mask the like the AquaSphere Sealmask which would displace the contact and broaden the visual field. I am certain that correcting the visual distortions and making the goggles comfortable for extended wearing will make them the primary choice of freedivers and spearfishing. Of course the perfect set up would also involve a noseplug for hands free equalizing. Another design idea would be to go to sports glasses frame in which there was no seal. This would be good in clean clear water.

Eric, keep on it you are onto a very good thing. Even with the stated weaknesses I will probably use this pair of goggles more often than my regular mask. In clean clear water I will just remove them from time to when they become too uncomfortable. This technology is as ground breaking as the facemask was 70 years ago and its the first real innovation from the face mask.

And I humbly offer my services as a beta tester Eric for a the opportunity to try you newest designs without having to pay for it.

Hi Mark,

I'm glad you liked the goggles, however, the pair that Bill had (and you bought) is truly an ancient model. For example, the lens spacing is too far apart, requiring you to narrow the nose bridge significantly to fix the double vision. And, the lens power is such that you end up a bit near sighted (around 20/40 for most people).

Also, the field of view of the newer nirvana goggle is much bigger than your goggle, and with less spherical abberation.

However, even the new goggles are still not perfect, and you probably have a pretty good idea of what it's like to dive with them.

Even if you think they are a good invention, I have lost so much money developing them it's unlikely I will ever make it all back. I only continue to offer the goggles because I want others to experience the same pleasures as I do.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Eric, just wondering how is it possible to see clearly both under water and above water with the nirvana goggle?
Vision Above & Below

As long as the interface is flat, you can see above the water and below the water. This holds true for masks as well as goggles and fluid goggles. If your mask is flat, you can see above the water and below the water. If you mask is curved (i.e. Technisub Sphera), you can only see clearly either above or below. In the case of the sphera, underwater the view is terribly distorted and acts as a strong negative diopter lens, inducing myopia and eyestrain and headaches in most users.

So, the most versatile fluid goggles will have a flat interface. However, a flat interface means the lens assembly must be inside the goggle. This is difficult, because there is very little space inside the goggle -- if you use up too much of that space, then the lens will touch the eye. Further, the lens assembly must be embedded in a liquid plastic, which can cause trapped air-bubbles during the curing process. For that reason it is necessary to use both a vacuum chamber and a high pressure chamber when embedding the lens assembly into the liquid plastic inside the goggle. This whole complicated procedure (plus the high cost of the lenses) is why the nirvana is the most expensive model, and even at $395 it is totally not worth the trouble for me to make it. Using a more realistic markup, it would cost $880-$920, but then no one would get to experience the joy of diving with this type of goggle.

You can see pictures of the nirvana on the newly updated website:

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
OK now I'm hooked


Well in response to,

I'm glad you liked the goggles, however, the pair that Bill had (and you bought) is truly an ancient model. For example, the lens spacing is too far apart, requiring you to narrow the nose bridge significantly to fix the double vision. And, the lens power is such that you end up a bit near sighted (around 20/40 for most people).

I am now hooked and have to have the most advanced pair. I emailed you about this. I am sorry to hear that this has not be a financial success at this time for you. I hope you have a good patent on these because I still that there is a future market for them. I am curious about your training and how you came up with this technology as it reflects a basic paradigm shift. Which is part of the difficulty in marketing them I would think.

Warmly, Angus
well, hold on to it Eric, when I'm done with my education, in 5 years, I'll buy a pair..

how's the field of view w/ these. i remember angus telling me how they might be of interest to spearos if some of the issues were corrected. but, it sounds like his issues might have faded w/ his 'old' version.

and, would you ever think about a bridge of some sort to keep the lenses in the same plane?

me and my not very straight thinking mind have just thought about this.

suppose one was to dive only in salt water,would it not be possible to mount the lens into a "normal" glasses frame (like the ones you wear to go to the mall and the one that have prescription lenses in them, :) just explaining what they are for those of you who dont spend that much time above water) anyway you would get a good fitting frame ie. one that wont easily come off your head, and simply put the lenses in the frames. that way at the surface you could simply take them off and under water you would simply put the glasses on.

i bet that this would really freak the scuba divers out of the water, some guy without a tank wearing normal glasses 150ft down.

now i could understand that this might not work for people in cold water and people in polluted water but for someone in the carribiean i think it would be an easy way to see under water, the person couldnt wear contacts though.
this would also be a good idea for the scuba divers as a backup mask for extended range diving, being as how normal glasses are so small.

I also have one question, who buys the Liquivision ABOVE-WATER lens? just my curiosity wanting to know, (you dont have to answer if you dont want to)

good luck
ps. i will buy a pair as soon as im not a student (a long ways away sadly)
Sport glasses

Hey Thin

I have wondered the samething - using something like a heavy duty sports glasses frame that straps on and has some baffles to smooth out the dynamics flow. We need Eric with optical engineering expertise to sign in on this one.
Underwater glasses

The original design for the fluid goggles was a 'fluid mask'. Then I changed it to underwater glasses, which I was going to build for Rudi & Tanya for their 57m freshwater constant weight record in 1998. However, the underwater glasses had tons of problems. Too fragile, can't adjust lens spacing, and in their case, freshwater burns the eyes as it passes over, and it's cold...not to mention that you can't get the lens close enough to the eye, so the magnification was 300%...

You can forget any kind of design that uses 'molded' plastic lenses--plastic just doesn't work because it doesn't have a high enough refractive index. All acceptable high index materials are fragile, and must somehow be protected to prevent breakage.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
well as soon as i get enough money i know what im gonna make for my dad, UNDERWATER BIFOCALS

and thank you for clearing that up, me an my not so straight thinking mind still have a few glitches to work out in the whole THINKING process

eric, you probably already thought of this, (or figured it in to you genius calculations) but what about using the plastic lenses, with their smaller refrative index, on a "normal" glasses frame, this would solve the problem of the 300% magnification and the durability issue. is this reasonable or is it along the same lines as my idea of a "TEARDUCT WIDENING operation" (for easy equalizing with googles, WARNING: to be performed but certified medical personnel only)

i think my mind has had to much time to think about wierd ideas like this today
Underwater Glasses


If you want to use store-bought 'underwater glasses', the best you could do would be to ask for +15D high-index lenses, in a normal frame. If you take those underwater with you, they will have virtually no power, and your vision will improve from 20/8000 (40 times legally blind) to about 20/6000, still 30 times legally blind. Such high quality, high power plus lenses in a good frame will run you about $250, so you'd save about 20% over fluid goggles, but you still wouldn't be able to see anything. Well, it's always good to have a cheaper option, even if the vision sucks.

Another cheap option is to buy 20 magnification sheets (fresnel sheets) for about $1.50 each, and stack them in front of one eye while underwater. You'll get vision out of one eye, pretty clear, but a 0.01 degree field of view, with 1000% magnification, and you have to hold the sheets there during the dive. Don't drop them.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
actually, I thought of making my own fluidgoggle with fresnel lens, so that the lens would be smaller, thinner.. but then again, plastic and water have similar refractive index so it wouldn't make any lens of it..
now me with my straight thinking mind (dont have a headache anymore) understant why this would not work, thanks and sorry for the trouble.