WE’RE NAVIGATING WITH our mobile devices, communicat- ing with them, checking the weather, and shooting videos. We’re swiping and tapping and rocking our modern life. Everything is groovy, until a big wave slams into the boat and sends the tablet crashing to the deck. Or maybe one of
the kids didn’t realize you shouldn’t put a smartphone down on a sandy beach.
Perhaps you leaned over just a bit too far in the kayak to get that great picture
and — oh, no! — your fancy new phone is now an underwater camera.
Until recently, many of us made do on the water with a Ziploc-style sandwich bag and a
prayer. Better than nothing. But we knew deep down that what we really needed was a serious
PFD – Protection For (our) Device.
Just in time, the aftermarket has stepped up with dozens of solutions that promise to
protect your expensive mini-computer without compromising functionality. Styles and prices
vary, but they typically fall into three broad categories.
These are the most common and tend to be the most expensive. Prices range from $70 for
a phone to $130 for a tablet. They’re typically made of polycarbonate plastic that seals your
device in a watertight cocoon. They’re specifically sized, chiefly for Apple and Samsung products. Check that what you want will exactly fit what you have.
LIFE JACKETS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE
Just because you take it boating doesn’t mean your smartphone is up for a plunge.
Be prepared for when the unexpected happens
You also might see claims that a phone or
tablet can be dropped from a certain height,
without damage. In the marketing literature,
you may notice that the case meets Military
Standard 810. That standard includes a
series of tests, such as dropping a device 26
times on different edges from four feet high,
and even surviving gunfire vibration (
hopefully you won’t need that).
Case makers also tout waterproof standards, and it’s common to see claims that
a device can stay dry for a certain period of
time at a specific depth. This is a reference
to IP- 68, an international standard that translates to submerging a device one hour in two
meters of water, or 6. 6 feet. It also means a
high level of protection from dust and debris.
Can you count on these standards to
protect a sophisticated piece of electronics
costing hundreds of dollars? Probably, but
defects do happen. Prudent buyers should
test their new cases first by placing a piece
of cotton or tissue paper inside, and maybe
a couple of batteries for weight. Then drop
GEAR ACCESSORIES BY TUX TURKEL