My wife's entire life is tied into the efficient operation of her laptop computer and its programs. So she was in a veritable panic a couple of mornings ago when I called from my office to chat about an upcoming business trip and the requisite dog care: We adopted an 85-pound retired racing greyhound not long after we got married; we've been able, and at times adamant with our employers, that our business travels not overlap. So far, it's been all of one week in seven years of marriage and dog-parenthood where we've both been away from home.
Rubin, our hound, is the equivalent of a three-year-old child...on steroids. He clearly refuses to realize his own strength. Suzanne, my wife, had spent several hours that morning working on podcast interviews in her home office. The door was not completely secured; Rubin finally decided "mom" had worked enough and it was time for him to go for a walk around the park across the street. He burst in to the room, knocking Suzanne's cup of coffee all over the keyboard and trackpad. Alas, he didn't get to go for his walk then, as my wife then had to go into emergency dry mode.
She's also had the electronic key to her company's Mercedes-Benz short out, triggering the alarm system in the parking lot where one of our local run groups congregated after a Sunday afternoon trot around one of the residential neighborhoods. The story of the "demon-possessed" Mercedes-Benz is still talked about to this day. Rubin wasn't to blame for that catastrophe, however. Blame that one on my highly-active sweat glands, which happen to be the marvel of coaches, friends and relatives. I've tried to use plastic zipper food storage bags and neoprene pouches to try and separate my sweat from things I prefer to keep (relatively) dry; most have worked with varying degrees of success, some with very little. It's forced me to learn to exercise without the benefit (or drawback, depending on your point of view) of electronics. I learn that electronics will die sooner or later when I use them...usually sooner.
So I have to admit I was excited and a little skeptical when my wife told me about a bunch of products she encountered made by Dry Corp, a company based out of Wilmington, NC. Dry Corp's DryCASE products let tech users take their gadgets - cell phones, MP3 players, tablet computers - out into the elements with little or no fear of water damage. I have had the privilege to road-test a few technology products in the past, and I usually get first crack at new gadgetry which lands at our front door. It's not that I'm tech-smart as much as I'm tech-savant; if I can figure out most of the basic functions on a piece of equipment it meets the definition of "user-friendly interface."
I've seen less-technical versions of products like the DryCASE, (which isn't a true case like a hard-shell one but we'll overlook those semantical differences) in the past; a pair of board shorts I purchased for my wife in Hawaii had a heavy-duty plastic zip-seal bag for money, identification or cell phone carriage. What makes DryCASE different is the ability to actually use your technology while it's vacuum sealed in plastic, with or without the DryBUDS.
The DryCASE comes in two sizes; the largest ($59.99) is intended for tablet devices. The small case I tested ($39.99) is about 4.6" x 8.5" and made of thick plastic, and contains a sealed-in 9" long 1/4" headphone jack. My HTC Hero smartphone fit comfortably within the DryCASE, as did my 32GB iPod Touch. The small DryCASE can be used for non-tech, but nice-to-keep-dry-and-available stuff, like identification, drivers' license, folding money, and credit cards, also. The top of the case is fitted with what at first appears to be a potato chip clip on steroids, but really is a very-strong dual twist knob latch. Once opened you can slide your desired "keep dry" stuff or technology into the case, and plug in the 1/4" jack, if you plan to use headphones.
I tried the set/seal/use process the tirst time with my HTC Hero plugged into the phone jack. The vacuum seal pulls the plastic right down onto the touch screen, so nearly all of the "finger slide" functions of the typical smartphone user interface can be used, except for the trackball. In the case of my phone, especially, the trackball was engaged. Not so good. But I could turn and off my phone and answer a call if absolutely necessary.