Business Technology

“Unleash inner superhero” with marine tech firm’s £1,400 underwater jet pack

4 min read

29 January 2016

Former deputy editor

If the breaststroke is too mundane for you, marine tech enterprise Supermarinovation has closed its first round of equity investment, which will support the company as it ramps up the scale of its x2 Sport underwater jet pack venture.

The company originally sought finance on Indiegogo, but the two-month campaign ended on 30 October 2015 and only raised a third of the $35,000 target.

The Portsmouth-based startup has been given a new lease of life, however, as Simon Parke, who co-founded the business with brother Chris, took to Twitter to reveal the business has received its first equity investment.

The siblings combined their skills, with Simon bringing knowledge from the enterprise software industry where he specialised in innovation, product development and strategic partnerships, while Chris is a naval architect that has used his technical design experience to take projects from concept to final build.

The £1,400 x2 Sport is described “the world’s first high performance wearable underwater jet pack” and would look at home in a James Bond film – ideal for the high-flying entrepreneur.

That said, the x2 is being promoted to customers with the tagline “unleash your inner superhero”. Of course, the alter-egos of Batman and Iron Man are billionaire business leaders Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, so the gadget is seemingly ideal for company bosses.

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The device propels users to speeds in excess of 6mph – depending on the size of the user – while a single charge provides one hour of usage. For clarity, the company claims this is faster than an Olympic swimmer.

Supermarinovation is pitching the x2 Sport as an alternative to scuba equipment.

“Have you ever been snorkeling and seen something incredible below you, but haven’t been able to get to it before your breath runs out?” the firm said in its Indiegogo campaign.

“Until now you needed scuba gear to take a closer look, but not any more thanks to the worlds first underwater jet pack; the x2 Sport.”

A video of the x2 Sport in action has gone viral on Facebook to receive more than 4.5m views.

According to Parke and his brother and co-founder Chris: “The x2 Sport revolutionises the underwater experience bringing the adrenaline of action sports to the underwater world, enabling you to explore the ocean with the power and grace of a dolphin.

“The x2 Sport can take you deeper and further than ever before. The concept is simple; thrust generated by the patented Hydra thrusters propels you through the water faster than an Olympic swimmer. The x2 provides the effort, saving your precious oxygen allowing longer duration dives.”

The x2 has been in development for three years and has been self-funded until the previously mentioned search for funding.

Facebook boss founder Mark Zuckerberg seemingly fancies himself as something of a superhero – he revealed his 2016 challenge will be to develop technology similar to that found in the Iron Man films.