Splash out! 8 brilliant poolside gadgets

UE Boom
Don't drop it in - but the UE Boom speaker is water- and stain-resistant

Mid-summer poolside activities just got a bit more fun. These hi-tech gadgets help you record the kids playing in the water, protect your precious equipment, and even provide a waterproof two-way communication between you (in a lawn chair) and the main house.

1. Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX30

Some digital cameras (and smartphones) are pool-friendly and water-resistant, but it's not like you can swim with them.

The TX30, however, is submersible up to about 10 metres. In case of contact with the hard concrete around the pool, this 18.2MP cam is also shock resistant, dustproof and freezeproof (handy, depending on the pool - though you may not be so keen to jump in).

The camera also shoots video in 1920x1080/60i, has post-photo editing options, and comes in four colours.

Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera TX30

2. iRobot Mirra 530

This improved robotic pool cleaner is is designed for two main functions. First, it can handle automatic clean-ups involving leaves, debris, and other common particles that fall into the pool.

Second, it purifies the water itself, removing algae and other elements down to two microns in size. Like iRobot's Roomba, it works autonomously without human intervention.

iRobot Mirra robotic pool cleaner

3. Cobra CXT545 two-way radio

Sitting at the pool whiling away the hours is a blast. But you probably want to leave your phone in the house. This rugged, waterproof two-way radio is a good replacement option.

There's a large rubber grip for use in the pool. With one quick button press you can check out a quick weather report. And there's even a bright LED flashlight for night outings.

Cobra CXT545 two-way radio

4. LifeProof nüüd Case

For people who insist on taking their phones into the danger zone, look no further. Available for both the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, the LifeProof nüüd is unique in that the case forms securely around your handset to make it waterproof.

Yet the case seals in so tightly that there's no need for a plastic screen cover - you type directly onto the actual screen. That means better accuracy, clarity, and a lighter overall design.

5. MeCam

The MeCam is one of those inventions we've been expecting for some time. An initial entry in the quantified society and life-blogging category, the cam attaches to your shirt or swim trunks. (A fully waterproof version is expected in a few months.)

There are dedicated buttons for snapping a quick 5MP photo or recording a 720p HD video. And, you don't have to carry any recording gear, which is helpful at the pool.

MeCam wearable video camera

6. UE Boom

Poolside specs are important, but so is the overall design. Logitech's UE Boom looks like it belongs on a clear-glass patio table. There's a hook on top you can use for attaching to a backpack, and the speaker is water- and stain-resistant.

The sound is quite stunning: full bass, clear highs, and surround audio that works well for everyone in the area. The Boom weighs only 538 grams, lasts 15 hours on a charge, and streams over Bluetooth.

UE Boom speaker

7. Garmin Swim

The Garmin Swim was released last year, but the software is now more pool ready. Improvements include the ability to track your specific strokes when you swim laps, more swim session drills to time races and keep your pace, and more pool sizes.

You set the watch to record your exact swim (like a FitBit tracker). You can then share details like your cadence and overall distance on the Garmin swim tracking site.

Garmin Swim

8. Pentax K-50 DSLR

While a pocket camera is great for casual use, serious photogs might want to consider this full water-resistant DSLR. While you can't use it in the water, it is safe to use around the pool with 81 weather seals around the camera body and lens. As a DSLR, the K-50 can snap six photos per second, and has a high 51200 ISO rating and 16.2 megapixel sensor.

Pentax K-50 DSLR

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.