iPhone housing allows for underwater touchscreen use
There are already a number of watertight cases that let you take underwater photos with your iPhone, but pretty much all of them have one thing in common: they don't allow for finger access to the touchscreen. The new amphipac does, however, plus it has a 100-mm dome lens for getting those cool half-above/half-below-the-surface shots.
While other cases do have buttons that line up with specific parts of the screen, the amphipac lets users access whatever area of the screen they want, using their fingertips just like they would without a case. Among other things, this allows them to select where to place the focus, to switch between photo/video mode, and to pinch-to-zoom.
It also lets them access applications other than the camera app, so they can do things like sharing their shots on social media, without having to take the phone out of the case.
The touchscreen access is made possible via a two-layer flexible film that covers the screen. There's a low-pressure air pocket between the layers, which keeps the screen from registering the water pressure as one big "touch." When the user presses on one area, they simply close the gap between the two layers, allowing the touch to register on that part of the screen only.
As an added bonus, the air pocket within the lens causes the case to float should it be accidentally let go. It should be noted, however, that the amphipac isn't intended for use by scuba divers – its maximum depth rating is 5 meters (16 ft). It also requires you to have an iPhone 6, 6s, 7 or 8.
If you're interested in getting a case of your own, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of US$79 is required, with shipping estimated for next April. Assuming it reaches production, the planned retail price is $149.
You can see it in use, in the video below.