Origins of the Tern
First announced at DEMA last November, we’re thrilled to officially launch the Tern and Tern TX. To learn more about the origins of the Tern, we sat down with Technical Product Manager, Tim Inglis, and Systems Architecture Manager, Tyler Coen, for some Q&A.
Q. How long has the Tern been in development?
Tyler: We started gathering input and specifications about 2 years ago in January 2022. We got our first diveable prototype in the early spring of 2023.
Tim: Our internal user group has been diving with the Tern for many months. We like to say “dive early, dive often”. It’s a great way to get user feedback to our designers early in the process and make improvements.
Q. Where did the idea of the Tern come from?
Tim: We had heard from our customers that they wanted the bright, high-contrast display, and ease of use of the Teric but to streamline some of the more advanced functions. We had learned a lot from the Peregrine being a successful counterpart to the Perdix but made with sport divers in mind. We wanted to create a similar relation to the Teric and use the watch form.
Tyler: The high-resolution AMOLED screen is really sought after but usually only available at a higher price. We wanted to create an excellent product at an accessible price for the sport diver. Divers are looking for thinner, less bulky designs, and so we’ve built the Tern with those characteristics in mind.
Q. What are some of the features that users will be really interested in?
Tyler: The AMOLED screen and ease of use are really #1 for the Tern. Being able to see the screen under all kinds of conditions and the 5 dive modes make it versatile for tropical and cold-water diving, freediving, or even as a backup gauge for more technical dives.
Tim: Back when we developed the Peregrine, we started out with audible alerts, but as soon as we dove the first prototype, we realized that vibration alerts were way better. So, we ditched the beeps and focused on making top-notch vibration. That's the same path we've taken with the Tern. It’s a way smaller computer but we’ve put in the powerful motor from the Peregrine. When it goes off it will definitely catch your attention, and you won’t need to look around to figure out who’s computer is going off.
Tyler: Shearwater really works to create simple and reliable computers specifically built for divers. The interface is meant to be extremely simple and intuitive, ultimately supporting an easy dive experience.
Tim: I take great pride in the manuals we create for each product, but I’m equally happy if you never have to read one because the use of the computer is so simple. As our founder Bruce Partridge would say “the middle of your dive is not a place where you should need a manual, the first button push should be what you need in that moment.”
Q. Is the Tern meant for new divers?
Tyler: The simplicity of the display can certainly make it a great option for new divers, but the functionality makes it a great tool for a broad range of experience levels. In addition to the no-nonsense air and nitrox modes, it offers 3 Gas Nitrox mode, which can support users on much more advanced dives. The TX model also supports up to 4 wireless tank pressure displays and has sidemount mode.
Tim: The Tern TX gives divers a chance to get into Air Integration and a compass with Shearwater quality at an approachable price point. This is a real step forward that puts all the diver’s information conveniently in one place. For a new diver, they won’t have to worry about checking multiple gauges, which makes the experience so much easier and more enjoyable.
For those who don’t want to invest as much, the standard Tern model offers almost all of the same functionality, including the high-resolution AMOLED display at a very accessible price. It’s exactly what so many of our sport divers have been asking for.
The Tern and Tern TX are now available. Each computer includes the wireless rechargeable Li-Ion battery, wireless charging station, black Remora strap and ballistic nylon polymer case. Additional colours of Remora bands and webbing straps are available separately.
Check with your local Shearwater Dealer for more information and to order.
Tern: $850 CAD / $650 USD
Tern TX: $1025 CAD / $775 USD
Tern TX x Swift Dive System: $1440 CAD / $1075 USD (includes 1 Swift transmitter)
Upcoming Dive Shows
Shearwater Research will be at the following dive shows:
Go Diving UK
Read More / Mar 2-3 Booth 62
Boston Sea Rovers
Read More / Mar 16-17
Beneath The Sea
Read More / Mar 22-24 Booth 325
Read More / Apr 5-7