Xperias can tell when they are under water, and Sony has the apps to prove it

August 12, 2014
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Sony -- Underwater Apps -- Sink Sunk - YouTube 001579

High-end Sony devices can take a dunk or two. If you’re willing to push your luck, you could even try leaving an Xperia on the seabed for 6 weeks, like this Swedish tourist did. Spoiler: the phone lived to tell the story.

Now Sony wants you to know that its devices can actually tell when they are submerged in water, though we’re left scratching our heads about the usefulness of the feature. To detect submersion, select Xperia devices emit an inaudible tone and pick it up through the microphones – based on the different propagation speed, the devices can differentiate between air and water.

To showcase the functionality, Sony created six simple apps, exclusively available in the US for the Xperia Z and Xperia Z1S. You can check the collection in the Play Store here – in case you can’t access it, you aren’t missing out on much – in Goldie, for instance, you’ll have to save a fishy from asphyxiation by dunking the phone in water. Seriously, that’s it. The slightly more engaging Sink Sunk lets you race submarines, of course, only when the phone is submerged.

Gimmicky as they are, the apps are proofs of concept, and Sony hopes developers will further the technology by using an open source water detection library on Github. So in the future, the functionality could let you do more than play with submarines in the bathtub. Perhaps a camera app that can tell when you’re in the pool and change settings automatically? Any other ideas?

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