The iDive Story

Behind groundbreaking products are people & stories.  Creative people, passionate people, problem solvers looking to make work and play a little more enjoyable, a little more efficient, a little more fun.  Or a lot more.

Enter Michael Berumen, SCUBA diver from the age of 14 and active marine biology researcher for 15 years. Now a professor at KAUST, his job includes uncovering new coral, fish, and other species in the reefs of the Red Sea, many of which have not been explored by scientists. Berumen had grown frustrated with the current tools of the trade – manually recording his findings with pencil and paper while underwater. Back in the lab, many more tedious hours were spent recording the data into endless spreadsheets. He knew there must be an underwater digital solution. An iPad solution.

He had criteria.

  • The touchscreen must be fully functional.
  • It must accommodate crushing pressure of greater depths.
  • It must be easy to work with, move with, dive with.
  • It must not fail.

After researching options, he realized the market had a selection of non-functional cases designed to merely protect his tablet from a dip in the water. Cases would not handle the pressure and more importantly, the touchscreen is rendered virtually unusable due to the conductivity of water. Essentially, the screen can’t differentiate input. It gets confused.

He began to experiment. He quickly realized a robust, waterproof housing – not a case – would be imperative to handle the pressure and protect his iPad. The trick was enabling the touchscreen. A rudimentary bathtub test with ziplock bags and acrylic edges confirmed his speculation. A thin, pressurized layer of air was the answer to unlocking the ability to use the touchscreen.

His journey then took him on the road to find the right company to design and engineer a product that would be a functionally superior and cost effective tool. He turned to Watershot Inc., a product engineering firm located in San Diego, CA, known for its extensive expertise in designing and developing premium products for underwater use. Working closely with the lead engineer, iDive has brought the world the first functional touchscreen housing.

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