A Way to Waterproof Your iPhone? Apple Is Looking Into It.
Everyone knows that water and electronics don’t mix, expensive iPhones, iPads and MacBooks included, but a new patent filing suggests that Apple wants to change that.
The tech titan has applied for a U.S. patent that reveals that it’s proactively looking into how to make several of its products resistant to moisture, the electronics kiss of death. And it’s about time. Several rival smartphone and tablet makers, including Samsung and Sony, already offer water-resistant competing products.
Apple’s patent application, published today and first reported on by Apple Insider, details designs that would seal internal “water sensitive” components off with a hydrophobic coating. The ultra-thin encasement (potentially between 1 and 10 microns thick) could be directly applied to particular parts, like the fully assembled printed circuit board (PCB), via plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition. Translation: The waterproofing magic would be sprayed on as a vapor and turn solid upon drying.
The goal is straightforward: to create a shield that would stop short circuits that can wreak havoc when high voltage components go for a dip or get splattered. However, some key components would still be left unprotected from moisture, including board-to-board connectors.
Meanwhile, the hotly-anticipated Apple Watch, the focus of an exclusive Apple powwow in San Francisco next Monday, appears to be more water-resistant than its smartphone, tablet and laptop cousins. The sporty wristlet is apparently so splash-happy that CEO Tim Cook recently boasted that it could be donned in the shower, also reports Apple Insider.
Don’t get too excited for water-resistant Apple goodies other than that pretty watch just yet, though. As we’ve said before, simply because a patent for something is filed doesn’t necessarily mean that the subject of the patent will become a reality anytime soon. This writer is crossing her fingers that this one does, though, and soon, having dunked two iPhones in certain water-filled pots in the recent past. Surely some of you can relate.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.