Ovision takes the iPhone on a voyage to the bottom of the sea
By Ben Coxworth
December 28, 2013
If you want to snap some pics with your iPhone while snorkeling or scuba diving, there are already a number of polycarbonate underwater housings that will let you take your phone to a depth of 30 meters (100 ft) or so. A few others can protect it down to around 57 m (187 ft). According to Montreal-based product designer Pierre-Yves Pépin, however, his Ovision housing is good to at least 91 m (300 ft).
The main body of the Ovision is carved from a solid block of marine-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, with the main viewing window and lens port made from optically-clear acrylic. The four spring-mounted touchscreen control buttons and the two access latches are stainless steel.
Threaded holes in the top and bottom of the housing allow for the mounting of third-party lights or other accessories.
Users start by removing the device's aluminum end cap, sliding in their iPhone (model 4 or higher), then replacing the cap and securing it with the latches. Two O-rings around the base of the cap keep the water out, while a rubber bumper and cushion inside the housing keep the phone from rattling around.
Utilizing the mechanical buttons and a dedicated app, users can then switch between photo and video mode, start and stop recording, and review footage or stills. Additionally, they can put the phone into sleep mode by holding down any of the buttons for at least three seconds.
Pépin is currently raising production funds for the Ovision, on Kickstarter. A pledge of CAD$95 (about US$89) will get you one, when and if they're ready to go. The estimated retail price is $140. Optional extras include a flip-on/off red filter (for color-correcting footage shot at lower depths) and an aluminum hand grip.
More information is available in the pitch video below.