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Peace of mind in the ocean

Electronic shark defense system comes to market

Nov 15, 2011

HONOLULU, Hawaii – For years, measures to prevent shark attacks for surfers, divers, and swimmers have helped to save lives. Despite advances in the field, however, these preventative measures do not ensure any protection from a shark attack.

According to the International Shark Attack File annual report, worldwide in 2010, there were 79 shark attacks. Of these unprovoked attacks in 2010, North America experienced the most attacks in their waters with 32 attacks (42 percent).

Wilson Vinano, Jr., a long-time Honolulu surfer and owner of Z to A Innovations, LLC, has envisioned the Electronic Shark Defense System (ESDS), which omits electric pulses that interfere with the gel in a shark’s nose and keeps them away. The ESDS will change the way that surfers, divers, and swimmers experience the ocean environment.

The collaboration between Z to A Innovation, LLC and 3D Innovations have delivered the ESDS to market. The ESDS is a small, shark deterrent device that repels sharks from the area while in the ocean, thus increasing the user’s safety. The ESDS sends pulses through the water that are easily detected by a shark’s sensory system, causing them to stay out of the signal range while keeping ocean enthusiasts safe from encounters with sharks.

The device is attached by a strap, similar to surfboard or stand-up paddle board leash, to the ankle. When the ESDS senses water, it turns on automatically and can last up to 9 hours before recharging. The device only measures 2.6 x 2.3 x 1.0 inches and weighs about 7 ounces.

With the design, engineering, prototyping, and manufacturing capabilities of 3D Innovations, they were able to transform the ESDS device concept into a digital design and functional prototype. Z to A Innovations, LLC was then able to review and validate the prototype before the manufacturing process began. 3D Innovations was able to reduce the design cycle time, reduce prototyping costs, and produce a manufacture-ready ESDS device for Z to A Innovations, LLC.

“Using our design and prototyping process, we were able to accelerate the development time, saving weeks of R&D [research and development], and reduced prototyping costs by as much as 350 percent,” said 3D Innovations President Collin Kobayashi.

Because of the partnership between Z to A Innovations, LLC and 3D Innovations, an initial market entry of several thousand devices have been built and are selling for US$299 without a leash and US$335 with a leash. A similar device called “Shark Shield” in Australia is sold for over $700.

When surfers, divers, or swimmers are seen from below, sharks can mistake them for sea turtles, as surfers appear to have the same shape, and the splashing entices sharks to attack. Vinano said, “From the extreme testing that was conducted, we know this device works and keeps sharks away from the user.” Now, surfers, divers, and swimmers wearing the ESDS will experience an added peace of mind while exploring and enjoying the ocean.

Please visit for more information about the Electronic Shark Defense System and a video demonstration. For more information about 3D Innovations and the services that they provide, please visit or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Electronic shark defense system comes to market
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