The "Startling" New Waterbuoy

September 26, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

OK, maybe not “startling.” But watch the video and you’ll see what looks like a orbital escape device bringing a set of keys back to the surface in the demo for Waterbuoy, a new “Intelligent Miniature Floatation Device” being sold at MarineMart.com. While at first I chuckled at the notion of paying for more than the standard “traffic cone” to be sure my keys wouldn’t be swallowed by the ocean, it made me think about what I might be getting for $9.99. This thing can bring an object that weighs one kilogram (2.2 pounds) — e.g. most point-and-shoot cameras — back to the surface, not to mention keep it afloat and illuminated for 24 hours. So I’m thinking, “Do I really mind spending $5 more for something that might enable me to rescue my $300 waterproof Optio W80 or VHF handheld from the drink?”