Now that summer is in full swing, chances are you're spending time near a beach, in a pool or at a cottage. So, why shouldn't your gear go wherever you go?
Perhaps it’s no surprise waterproof (or at least water-resistant) gadgets are all the buzz this season. And the good news is there’s no shortage of products available, whether you’re looking for a sleek phone or tablet, compact camera, wireless speaker or fitness bracelet. Heck, there are even weatherproof TVs for your backyard, too.
Water-friendly tech means you can bring them wherever the fun is – without fear of damage. They’re also ideal in case of an unexpected sun shower. Or perhaps if you’re worried about sweating while wearing a portable electronic device.
And so the following is a snapshot of a few wet n' wild models to consider.
Capture all of summer’s best moments with the Canon PowerShot D30 ($329), a serious “adventure-proof” point-and-shoot camera you can take underwater up to 82 feet – the deepest out of any point-and-shoot on the market.
In fact, this rugged camera is ideal for all year round, as it works in temperatures from minus 10°C to 40°C – yes, perfect for a fall mountain hike or winter ski excursion.
Available in multiple colors, the D30 doesn’t skimp on features, either, as it boasts a 12.1 megapixel sensor, fast DIGIC 4 image processor, 5x optical zoom, image stabilization (to avoid blurry shots) and face-detection (by focusing and lighting each person's face).
Keep track of where you’ve been thanks to built-in GPS tagging; whenever you upload your pics or 1080p HD videos, they’ll be “geo-stamped” with your location, so you can see it on a digital map like Google Earth.
Speaking of photography, while GoPro has the lion’s share of the “adventure camera” market, Sony’s new high-end POV [point of view] Action Cam offers a splash-proof body -- and includes a waterproof case for underwater action, too – along with 24p HD video, high-speed shooting modes, a high-quality still camera, improved image stabilization and a ZEISS Tessar lens that yields a 170-degree viewing angle.
As with all other Action Cam models, the HDR-AS100V ($368) has built-in Wi-Fi to instantly share your first-person adventures with friends and family, plus there’s a growing number of accessories include a wrist-mounted wireless LCD screen, pet harness, helmet mount, and more.
Crafted from fiber-strengthened resin, steel mesh and reinforced aluminum, the aptly-named Fugoo Tough ($229.99) wireless speaker is waterproof (up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes), snow-proof, sand-proof and shockproof, too (drop-tested from 6 feet to concrete on all corners and sides).
Simply pair your Bluetooth phone, tablet or media player – be it an Apple iOS product, Android device, Windows or BlackBerry – and you can enjoy loud and clear music thanks to its six drivers, positioned on all four sides for 360-degree sound. An integrated microphone turns the Fugoo Tough into a speakerphone should a call comes in.
Battery life tops an impressive 40 hours between charges.
The Fugoo Tough also supports a number of optional accessories including replaceable jackets to change up the style, a wearable and waterproof remote, and an integrated mounting socket on the underside that accepts various mounts, straps or carabineer.
Wireless fitness bands are one of the more popular tech toys this year – especially for those looking to stay informed and motivated when it comes to getting fit.
The Jawbone UP24 ($149.99), for example, lets you set a daily goal – such as a certain number of steps taken, distance traveled or calories burned – and the lightweight and water-resistant wristband will keep track of your daily progress. Then, wirelessly sync it with your phone or tablet (Apple or Android) to see how well you did visually, plus, the app also makes it easy to track your food and drink intake by scanning a barcode or typing it in.
There’s also a sleep mode that tells you when you woke up and for how long, and a vibrating alarm to get you out of bed without disturbing a significant other.
In mid-July, Jawbone announced the latest update for its UP system – the combination of fitness tracker, app and service – including new features that make it easier to manage nutrition, hydration and weight, through intelligent tracking and guidance.
Want a durable tablet to carry around this summer, and beyond?
At only 6.4mm thin and less than 440 grams, Sony’s Xperia Z2 (from $499.99 for 16GB, with or without 4G/LTE through Verizon) is billed as the world’s slimmest and lightest 10-inch tablet – and it’s waterproof, dust and scratch-resistant, to boot. Specifically, it can survive being underwater for up to 30 minutes, as deep as 3 feet.
Powered by a quad-core processor and latest Android 4.4 (“KitKat”) platform, this 10.1-inch Xperia Z2 packs a punch for all your video needs, plus it has a built-in IR blaster to control your home theatre for when you’re back in the condo.
Available in black or white, other features include an 8-megapixel camera with Exmor RS sensor (and 2-megapixel front-facing HD chat camera), S-Force front surround audio technology and ClearAudio+, and wireless tech like DLNA, Miracast, NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more.
A 32GB version is available for $599.99.
One of the hottest phones of the year, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (from $199 on 2-year plans) is sleek 5.1-inch Android device that puts the “smart” back into “smartphone.”
Key features include a stunning Super AMOLED Full HD screen, advanced cameras, a long-lasting 2800 mAh battery (including an “Ultra Power Saving” mode), S Health fitness tracker with integrated heart-rate monitor, download booster (over Wi-Fi and LTE) and fingerprint scanner for added security.
So, why is this phone in this round-up? It’s the first Galaxy that’s IP67-certified, capable of being submerged for up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. The USB port at the base of the phone is covered and reinforced with a rubber lining. Even though this phone is water-resistant, you can still pop off the back to swap out the battery, if you like – unlike some other weatherproof phones.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is available in black, white, blue and gold.
Just because you're relaxing in your outdoor hot tub on a summer evening doesn't mean you need to miss your favorite television shows.
The extra bright SunBriteTV outdoor televisions – from $1,495 for the 32-inch SB-3270HD model all the way up to $7,695 for the 65-inch television -- features an all-weather exterior that protects internal components from rain, dirt and insects, along with a quad-fan airflow system that keeps the television cool and dry (in temperatures up 122 degrees Fahrenheit or as cold as -24 degrees Fahrenheit).
The cable entry system is also waterproof in order to keep the cords dry, along with the wireless remote and optional stainless steel wall mount. These slender LED TVs feature top-of-the-line 1080p HD resolution, 120Hz refresh rates to smooth out fast motion and built-in 20-watt weatherproof speakers. A premium outdoor dust cover is also included.
Finally, the only thing more relaxing than a hot bubble bath is when you can rest your head on a vibrating bath pillow at the same time.
Covered in plush material, the battery-operated HoMedics Vibration Massage Bath Pillow ($39.99) gently and simultaneously massages your head, neck and shoulders.
Whether you’re flying solo or sharing a romantic bath with a significant other, suction cups are included to ensure the high-tech pillow stays exactly where you place it in the tub.
Now, who said water and electronics don’t get along?
- Technology & Electronics
- Handheld & Connected Devices