Extreme sports enthusiast’s are a breed of their own and the ability to film their sports activity as it happens is something they enjoy doing. Optrix has created a case for the iPod touch and the iPhone 4/4S that allows them to do just that, taking advantage of the advanced video capabilities of both Apple products.
I met with John Willenborg, founder of Optrix and learned the history of the company. The HD Sport case was in development two years and John and his colleagues are extremely proud of the end product. It has only been available a little over a week. The MSRP is US$79.99 and offers a one year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee. At this time the product is only available through the company web site.
The product includes the all-weather Optrix case, an iPhone Sled to hold an iPhone 4 or 4S, an iPod touch sled (4th gen), a curved base, a flat base, 3M adhesive mounting tape, and a quick-release handle.
Optrix HD Sport Case package
According to Mr. Willenborg, the closest product that can be compared to the HD Sport is the GoPro HD which sells for US$239.99.
The design of the HD Sport makes it compatible with snowboarding, skateboarding, mountain biking, racing and more. The HD Sport includes two base mounts that adhere to any surface. The case is made of military grade materials that utilize ultrasonic welds and silicon gaskets so that the case is waterproof although at this time, it is not guaranteed for scuba diving.
One advantage of this system is that users can adjust the camera in the middle of their sports activity and they can check, edit, and upload their video onsite rather than waiting until they return home when it is too late to reshoot segments.
Optrix has an app (currently in beta testing) that will display data while filming. It will show a GPS trackmap, speed, force diagram and other pertinent information. The expected release date is within the month, but I saw a demo of it and it seems very cool to me.
Using the product
The very thought me testing any thing related to extreme sports will send anyone who knows me into gales of laughter. My life mantra is that I don’t pay people to scare me. John asked if I would like to take a ride in a race car with him. I was so not going to do that. Fortunately it was raining. I did however, get to have a hands-on experience with the case and to determine how well designed and rugged it is. It works and fits so well with both a phone and a touch and a user can easily conduct any phone or touch activities while using the case. I also observed how stable it was when attached to a helmet. John pointed out that there are holes in the case that allow users to add additional fasteners if they are using helmets that come with holes built into the front.
Do I recommend it?
I do. It is absolutely unique and for a niche audience, but for those who want or need something like this, it is well designed and well crafted and most certainly reasonably priced. The company has a second app in development that helps stabilize video’s while filming. That app will be free and should be of interest to many iPhone and iPod touch users who like to video.
For a synopsis of all the iPhone 4/4S cases we’ve recently reviewed, see: “iPhone 4S: Summary of Case Reviews.”