This Camera Housing Solves Your Holiday-Snap Woes

Commentators love to celebrate, or criticise, this time as the Insta- and selfie- obsessed generation of 360 degree photographic life coverage. They wouldn’t be quite right about that, though, because when it comes to our underwater activities, there’s a virtual media blackout. Enter LenzO, the iPhone housing that takes your iPhone experience submarine (in safety!).

The LenzO is suitable for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, a gadget with the avid underwater photo-lover in mind (so long as you’re Apple-loyal). It puts you firmly in control of capturing your adventures underwater and gives you the ability to share them as soon as you’re back on land – cutting out the need for extra computers and extra apps.

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It also allows you to dive with your iPhone as far down as 100 meters, and will float right back up to the surface if you let go of it that far down. Dual tripod mounts as well as a selfie lens and colour filters neutralise the threat of unflattering, unstable, underwater selfies that leave your smartphone wrecked.

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Head over to their Kickstarter page if you’ve got a holiday coming up and fancy giving LenzO a hand.

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We spoke to five-time Emmy award winning underwater cinematographer Anthony Lenzo, co-founder of ValsTech, about designing the traveller’s biggest lifesaver.

Fact File:

  • Smartphone Protection up to 100 metres underwater
  • Compact and lightweight, buoyant, with dual tripod mounts and an optical dome lens
  • Selfie Lens and colour filters
  • Comes in yellow, black and blue
  • Currently retails for $395, but limited offer discounts available if you support them on Kickstarter

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The Plus: How did you come up with the idea for LenzO?
Anthony Lenzo: While on a dive boat in the Bahamas, some of the founders of ValsTech noticed that everyone was using their phones to take photos while on the boat, but switched to GoPros once it was time to head into the water. They were strapping them on instead of having an active experience taking photos themselves, so we decided to take matters into our own hands!

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TP: How did you develop the design?
AL: We had to start with creating a few mechanical devices that would allow us to effectively use the touch screen underwater. If we could create the housing for it, we could solve the biggest problems with taking a smartphone underwater: control and safety. We created a prototype and we tested it, and decided to start manufacturing. As a professional underwater cinematographer, I was overjoyed!

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TP: The LenzO is currently only suitable for iPhone 6/6s and iPhone 7/7s, do you plan to expand the line to other smartphones?
AL: We’ve chosen to focus on iPhones for now (their different models are similar enough to keep our design relatively consistent, and they don’t require a new app to be designed), though it is something we will be considering as we grow. We’d love to apply our design knowledge to all of the most popular smartphones.

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TP: Who would you say this case is for?
AL: Anybody and everybody that likes to take pictures with their smartphone. Water enthusiasts of all kinds! Even if they’re not big divers…

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TP: Did you have any problems or difficulties in the product testing that you had to overcome?
AL: Not really. Due to our team’s 70 years of combined experience in designing underwater housings, we were able to foresee the majority of the problems that could happen.

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TP: Was there a specific reason you chose the colours black, blue and yellow for the cases?
AL: Our original prototype was grey, but we wanted to explore more pleasing colours. Yellow is reflective, so it’s easy to find in case it gets dropped. It comes in black because of the professional broadcast and cinema market – they’re used to keeping a low profile while underwater. Blue is because of our collaboration with Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society. Their focus is on marine conservation, so what better colour than the colour of our oceans?

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TP: Where do you plan to take it in future?
AL: We want to expand our product line and our accessory line. We want to become a brand name for people that like taking underwater photos and videos and are looking for a well-built, reliable and enjoyable case for their phone. We have plenty of ideas for future products, but our current focus is to be the best underwater housing for the smartphone market.

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Click here to support their design!

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