Universal Lite turns almost any smartphone into an underwater camera
Although most smartphones are now waterproof to a certain extent, you definitely shouldn't take them snorkeling without an underwater housing. The Universal Lite is one such device that fits a wide range of phones, allowing them to serve as underwater cameras.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Universal Lite is made by Korean firm Diveroid. The company previously brought us a device known as the Diveroid mini, which mounts on third-party housings to convert the phone within to a dive computer.
By contrast, the Universal Lite is a polycarbonate housing which is claimed to be watertight down to a depth of 15 meters (49 ft). This means it could conceivably be utilized for some scuba diving, but it's really intended for use in shallower-water activities such as snorkeling.
One of the device's big selling features is the fact that unlike some similar products, it isn't limited to just one make and model of smartphone. A rubber-padded guide inside the housing can be adjusted to fit the dimensions of various phones from companies such as Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Huawei and Oppo.
An iOS/Android app on the smartphone displays a viewfinder/control screen, with three touchscreen buttons that line up with three spring-loaded capacitive pushbuttons built into the housing. By pressing those physical buttons, users can start and stop recording, switch between photo and video, plus select between four camera modes: ultra-wide-angle, wide-angle, zoom-in and selfie.
The app additionally color-corrects the images (so they don't all just look blue), and reduces the blurriness that often ruins underwater photographs. All of the photos and videos are saved to a gallery within the app, where users can add notes, select favorites, and share them on social media.
Assuming the Universal Lite reaches production, a pledge of US$139 will get you one – the planned retail price is $199. The housing is demonstrated in the video below.