Forbes's article on waterproofing today's portable electronic devices opens with a story on a couple who took their Kindles out to sea on an inflatable raft.
During a vacation to St. John , Patrick Mish (of M-Edge Accessories) and his wife (she gets no name in this Forbes article :-) ) were able to read books and magazines on their Kindles while relaxing in the Caribbean -- even, the article says, tossing the costly e-readers into the air a few times and letting them splash into the water.
'Mish says onlookers were so flabbergasted that they swam out to the couples' raft to investigate. "We said, 'They're in waterproof cases!,'" he laughs. "After that, we were dubbed 'the Kindle people.'" 'Mish developed his waterproof Kindle case, called the Guardian, to enable Kindle owners to take their e-readers to beaches, pools, etc., making a case that is not just protective of the screen and its buttons and other controls, it also floats. Good thinking! if it's meant to allow tossing it into the ocean.
The "Guardian," one of Patrick Mish's M-Edge offerings (and what a sweet article for his business, which is popular among users of Kindle and other e-readers) uses special hinges and latches to form a watertight seal around e-readers and includes three internal, air-filled "buoyancy chambers" that keep the device afloat and upright for in-water, even hands-free, reading, per the website, as it floats level on the water's surface. I can imagine trying to read that way as it bobs on the water.
This case, which is scheduled to go on sale June 9 for $80, took about a year to produce, and three internal, air-filled buoyancy chambers ensure the case will float, screen up, in water.
M-Edge products for the 6" Kindle are buyable from Amazon but the Guardian is not shown there yet. Search results that include the Kindle DX are here.
If $80 is beyond the budget for this nicely constructed protection, there are other products claiming to be waterproof (and some use protection against rain, snow, dirt, sand, etc).
I forgot to say that some, including Jeff Bezos, use Ziplock bags for reading the Kindle in the bathtub. Not sure I'd risk doing that in sea waters though. I carried a Ziplock bag when visiting Egypt in case of sandstorms but didn't run into one.
But if the M-Edge waterproof case price were lower, I'd consider it for the protection from drops too.
UPDATE - June 10 - Original post date: 6/8/10, 8:54 PM
Wired has a couple of caveats to consider:
"You can't access the power button, so if your machine turns itself off while you're re-enacting PT-109 with rubber duckies, you have to dry the case off, exit the tub, and extricate your Kindle to turn it back on again. Shiny plastic-screen overlay robs the reader of some of its direct-sunlight skills. Heavy: essentially triples your reader's weight. Gotta leave it unlatched when you board a plane. Why? Decrease in pressure could wreck the case's flexible-plastic portion."
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