Does anyone make a "real" iPhone housing?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by grouchyturtle, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Photographer

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    Does anyone know of one that can go down more than just a few feet, and allows you to use the camera?

    I've been searching like crazy and can't find one. I find it hard to believe, with the image and especially video quality on the iPhone 4, that no one has made one yet. Yeah I know it's not a real camera. I personally have a Canon 40D with a housing, strobes, etc. But the quality on the new iPhone is definitely good enough for short clips to post on the web, underwater inspections on boats, etc. And it will fit in a pocket, unlike a real camera. The HD video quality is pretty damn good, even at full screen, when you consider it was shot with a phone.

    Unfortunately the cases for iPhone seem to fall into 3 categories.

    Bag style, which for the price actually work well. You can use all the phone's features, but only to 15-20'.

    Big bulky things that are barely water resistant, and seem to have horrible reviews from most users.

    And iDive which seems to be really rugged, and rated to 300'! But won't let you access anything except the iPod controls.
     
  2. H2O Audio

    H2O Audio Angel Fish

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    This one is a tall order....Dive cases take quite a while to build and develop and given that Apple changes the shape and positioning of buttons on the iPhone almost every year, it'd be a really tough project....

    Dana
    H2O Audio
     
  3. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Photographer

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    Really! Has the position and size of the camera buttons really changed all that much?

    There was the addition of video. And now HDR with the most recent upgrade.

    But I'm pretty sure at least the shutter release and flash controls have pretty much remained the same. At least as long as I've had an iPhone, starting with the 3G.
     
  4. jkleve

    jkleve Angel Fish

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    Considering the camera button is on the screen, which is thermal based, I wonder how you'd make a water tight seal, that would conduct heat to even press the "button. I'd seem like the screen would need to be exposed to the water and the user couldn't wear a glove. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's far more complicated then other phones or cameras.
     
  5. mmerriman

    mmerriman Scuba Instructor

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    "Really! Has the position and size of the camera buttons really changed all that much?"

    yes.
     
  6. FWADIVER

    FWADIVER Barracuda

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    Screen is capacitive based, it has nothing to do with thermal or heat.
     
  7. cuyler

    cuyler Nassau Grouper

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    There was a very cool proof of concept back in 2008 but for some reason it never went into production.
    Waterproofing electronics
     
  8. FWADIVER

    FWADIVER Barracuda

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    That is essentially a conformal coating process, and one that has been around since as long as I have been in electronics, but it is impractical to do for consumer electronics except in a 'one off' situation like in that video. It is a standard process for any electronic components that might be exposed to a 'salt fog' enviroment.

    Edit: I should also add this is only immersion waterproofing. Making the thing pressure resistant to goto even 10M is a whole nother can of worms.
     
  9. cuyler

    cuyler Nassau Grouper

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    The cool thing is the company had plans to provide it for any electronics at the consumer level - just send your device in. The cost they were proposing was quite affordable. I guess later on when trying to actually cost it out it and get the venture capital things didn't work out.
     
  10. FWADIVER

    FWADIVER Barracuda

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    It would be the same as sending your phone to colorworks for a custom paint job. I mean more in the sense of implementing it at the manufacturing level of consumer electronics. Again, it just adds some water resistance, pressure will still likely cause some damage depending on whats inside. You could do something similar yourself with a vacuum pump and an air drying conformal coat (acrylic based most likely) A quart of the stuff wont run more than $15 masking off stuff you dont want to get it on (like charging plugs, headphone jack, screen etc) would be the most time consuming part of the project.
     
  11. cuyler

    cuyler Nassau Grouper

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    The point of the Golden Shellback company was doing was completely disassembling the components and coating them all individually. Of course, doable by oneself but quite an arduous task for modern cellphones.

    Regardless, in their short time in the spotlight they did mention putting the iPhone under water long enough for it to die on standby (over >100 hours) but from what I saw, nothing about putting it underpressure at any sort of significant depth.

    I'm sure if the technology worked at depth and they thought to market to scuba diver folks woul dbe paying thousands of dollars just so they could attach an iPod to a D-ring and listen to tunes while at 100'.
     
  12. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Photographer

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    This could easily be done with a polycarb housing like the iDive or an Ikelite, and simply using Ikelite style push buttons lined up with all the camera buttons (about 9 of them).

    The rubber ends would just need to be removed, and replaced with a material that will activate the screen.
     
  13. windapp

    windapp Manta Ray

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    The whole point behind scuba diving is to leave the surface world behind. Even if I knew of such a casing, I could not in good consience tell you about it.
     
  14. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Photographer

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    So then you don't think anyone should be shooting photos or video underwater?
     
  15. windapp

    windapp Manta Ray

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    Not if it involves bring your phone....I am of course attempting to be a touch humourous.
     
  16. grouchyturtle

    grouchyturtle Photographer

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    But I can't immediately post to Facebook with my dSLR.
     
  17. windapp

    windapp Manta Ray

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    Exactly my point. Facebook is part of the real world. Youshould not be taking that down with you.
     
  18. BHB-Diver

    BHB-Diver Garibaldi

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    Take a look at this website.

    http://scubacapsule.com/

    I understand it was unveiled at DEMA last week in Orlando and should be available soon.

    BTW - the iPhone can take pictures by pressing the volume up button on the side in addition to the on screen shutter button (upgrade to IOS5)
     
  19. Streetdoc432

    Streetdoc432 Divemaster

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    Wow, can you get a citation for diving while texting???
     
  20. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Photographer

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    Some cases ARE coming out !!!

    Currently two companies, I have a local Montreal dive shop owner (Stoni of Einstein Scuba), that's a DEMA looking into this right now.

    I want to write some software for the iPhone for UW use. Imagine your phone as an UW dive comp.

    One is in acrylic, another is aluminum & glass. I'll keep this thread updated. Expect to pay over 400$ or over 500$, you can take UW pics and videos too.

    AT&T and Verizon haven't answered me yet on the UW coverage, so I cannot say if you'll be able to send & receive text messages, let alone cell phone calls.

    (c'mon, that was funny!)
     

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