One of the advantages of the near-global nature of the technology industry is that, somewhere, there’s bound to be someone thinking outside the box—or at least at the bottom of the pool. Such is the case with a Chinese-made digital camera scuba mask now popping up at electronics retailers and Web sites that combines a video- and photo-capable camera scuba mask to ease the process of taking underwater photographs and video.
Although there are a number of waterproof cameras on the market from major manufacturers designed to work underwater, lots of folks find that actually using those cameras can be a bit of a chore since they’re always in the way, can be difficult to use while wearing goggles or a mask. The underwater digital camera mask aims to solve that problem by putting a camera—and 4 GB of flash storage—right into the mask. According to specs, the device can shoot 1,280 by 960-pixel AVI/MJPEG video—there’ no word on frame rate quality, although we aren’t optimistic thanks to camera specs that declare a 1 megapixel resolution and ISO 100 sensitivity—so you’d better use it in well-lit waters. The camera also sports a unique interface: users wear a magnetic ring: brush the ring over the mask’s power switch and the camera turns on. Brush it once over the photo switch to take a picture, or hold it there for two second to start taking video. The mask vibrates once when it takes a picture, and twice when it starts shooting video. Users can offload images and video via USB, and the whole thing runs off a rechargeable internal battery.
The camera is widely now widely available from online electronics retailers and importers, and comes with a USB cable, wall charger, software, and an all-important snorkel. Retailers’ prices range from about $110 to $150.