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New gadgets? Everybody in the pool!


  • Photo 1 of 4

    Kai Ryssdal gets his picture taken underwater.

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  • Photo 2 of 4

    Kai Ryssdal checks out a waterproof gadget.

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    Kai Ryssdal puts on an iPod waterproof case.

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  • Photo 4 of 4

    Kai Ryssdal gets his picture take with a waterproof camera.

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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

KAI RYSSDAL: One of the great parts about doing this show in Los Angeles is this: A weekday morning. 10:30. Sitting in the hotel pool on top of the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, talking to Kevin Pereira about waterproof gadgets and devices.

You have had me on this program singing, playing music, and now here I am talking with you about fun electronic toys you can play with in the water.

KEVIN PEREIRA: C'mon, standing in that 3-1/2 feet, heated pool on a rooftop is not as bad as ...

RYSSDAL: Well, all right. Not so bad. Not so bad. A little embarrassing, perhaps.

PEREIRA: It might be embarrassing now, Kai, but when your listeners can go online and watch he videos of you up to 1.5 meters deep -- thanks to the Sanyo Xacti camcorder -- it's gonna all be worth it.

RYSSDAL: So, it's a good thing we're not in a 6-foot pool, right. Because 1.5 meters . . . not actually so deep.

PEREIRA: You know, I've actually, I feel like I have gone, I mean, I had this in saltwater in Jamaica, underwater, we're taking videos. And then we brought it to the pool, and we're doing diving shots and then I took it out, shook it off, plugged it right into my laptop and there was all my media.

RYSSDAL: How's the quality?

PEREIRA: Video quality's great. It records in MPEG 4 format. I mean, it's not quite high-def, but it's more than enough for YouTube videos or . . .

RYSSDAL: I'm going to take a little video of myself here.

PEREIRA: Yeah, please. I highly recommend giving yourself a . . . go underwater.

RYSSDAL: Oh, yeah. . . . That's actually ... So how does it look? Could we do a little playback?

PEREIRA: Absolutely. What I love about the Xacti is that not only is it fun to hold -- it's a nice, small camcorder. It's super easy to use. There's only three or four buttons on the thing. So hit Play and switch it over to Play mode.

RYSSDAL: Right.

PEREIRA: There's the video we just took and we'll start that one off.

RYSSDAL: Remind me how much this thing costs.

PEREIRA: This thing right now . . . I mean, you could find this camera for probably 200 bucks online -- might be able to find it even cheaper.

RYSSDAL: Really. . . . All right, so let's say we want to do not moving pictures but just still, underwater photography. Some nice fishes, coral reefs, whatever it is while we're out scuba-ing or snorkeling. What do you have?

PEREIRA: You want some, perhaps, some 10 megapixel, high-quality underwater stills?

RYSSDAL: I do that, actually! That's what I want!

PEREIRA: You could do that. Well, Olympus has a camera here. It's the Stylus 1030 SW. Shockproof. Waterproof. This thing is all-terrain. It can go anywhere.

RYSSDAL: And it will cost me how much money?

PEREIRA: A couple hundred bucks. About 300, 400 bucks.

RYSSDAL: And how much extra am I paying for the freezability and the waterproofness?

PEREIRA: You're not paying much extra. You know, you can get 10.1 megapixel cameras for 150 bucks, 200 bucks. You know ... but Olympus has found their niche with this. And they said, "Hey, why don't we let you crush it with 200 pounds of force or drop it from six feet high and the camera's fine.

RYSSDAL: All right. Here's what I'm going to do, though. I'm going to take a picture of myself underwater, rather than have you do it. And then I'm just going to mess around with it.

PEREIRA: Make sure you get some of the arm in the shot for MySpace.

RYSSDAL: Yeah, Facebook.

PEREIRA: Facebook! . . . And Kai has submerged himself. He smiled.

RYSSDAL: How about a half-in, half-out shoot? Me and Michael Phelps, right?

PEREIRA: Yep, you got it. That's it.

RYSSDAL: Uh, OK.

PEREIRA: And that's the sound of me throwing it on the ground.

RYSSDAL: There you go, again. That's the video portion of the demonstration today. We've got some audio, too.

PEREIRA: People love working out, listening to music, so what exercise is better than a little cardio in the pool and doing a couple laps. So this is a device by H2O Audio. There's so many different cages. There's Otterboxes. There's all sorts of companies that make waterproofing devices. But what really matters is you gotta find a cage that's designed for the device you're using it with. So, what we have here is the iPod Nano case.

RYSSDAL: Let's give the radio description of this thing. It's clear polyethylene. It's the size of an index card, basically.

PEREIRA: It even comes with a little armband there, so you can strap it to yourself . . .

RYSSDAL: That's exactly what we're going to do.

PEREIRA: . . . Throw on some waterproof headphones -- which, do not, sadly, come with the case.

RYSSDAL: No, they don't. But you know what. We're going to try the regular ones.

PEREIRA: You're going to get a little shock.

RYSSDAL: You think so? You think I am?

PEREIRA: I don't know.

RYSSDAL: It's "Death Cab for Cutie," all right.... We're going to try this thing, actually, just floating around underwater. . . . It's good audio.

PEREIRA: It's doable.

RYSSDAL: I think. I don't know. It's a little weird. So this, obviously, in addition to being waterproof and all that stuff, would be sand- and beach-proof as well, right?

PEREIRA: Yeah, that device can go anywhere you want.

RYSSDAL: And so a little box like this costs me how much?

PEREIRA: About 80 bucks.

RYSSDAL: 80 bucks?

PEREIRA: And there are a thousand and one companies that make waterproofing devices for iPods. I mean, that's the beauty of the iPod being so ubiquitous.

RYSSDAL: All right. Kevin Pereira, G4 Television, "Attack of the Show." Thanks, Kevin, for coming out and doing a little swimming.

PEREIRA: Always a pleasure, thank you.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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