Heavy-duty housing lets iPhone shoot video deep beneath the sea
By Ben Coxworth
December 14, 2011
If nothing else, the iPhone 4's ability to shoot 1080p high-def video has certainly done one thing - provided inventors with things to make. There is currently what could almost be described as a gold rush, as products are being designed to augment the smartphone's camera, to the point that it could be used for all of the same things as traditional, stand-alone video cameras. Some of these innovations have included interchangeable lenses, a mini SteadiCam, and a rugged helmet-mount system. Now, an underwater housing system for the iPhone 4 and 4S is in the works, which will allow users to shoot undersea video at depths of up to 100 feet (30.5 meters).
The FourPro system was designed and has been field tested by Ken Corben, an Emmy award-winning National Geographic underwater videographer.
The housing itself is constructed from marine grade aluminum and stainless steel, and features an LCD screen viewing port, a sun-shaded front lens port, and a mechanically-activated record/stop button. Via a threaded tripod-mounting hole in the bottom, the housing attaches to an aluminum cross bar, which is equipped with form-fitting Teak grip handles at either end. These handles have threaded holes in the top, to allow for the attachment of lights.
While users should be able to maintain a decent hold on the whole apparatus, it also includes a leash and lanyard, just in case. A custom foam-fitted waterproof hard case is additionally included, to keep everything protected in transit, and to make users look like they're on their way to get shots of blue whales in Antarctica.
Ken is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, in order to purchase the tooling necessary for large-scale production of the FourPro. A pledge of at least US$399 will get you one of the units once they're ready to go, assuming the project reaches its funding goal. The estimated retail price of the system is considerably higher, at $699.
By contrast, a 1080p GoPro HERO2 actioncam sells for $300, and is able to descend to 197 feet (60 meters). It isn't anywhere near as easy to hold onto, however, nor does it have provisions for added lighting.
More details on the FourPro, along with some great white shark footage shot with it, can be seen in the pitch video below.