TECHNOLOGY

iPhone 7 Could Be Fully Water Proof and Self Healing

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Water penetration has always been one of the biggest problems of smartphones but manufacturers are already finding a way around it. Although waterproof smartphones aren’t new, Apple seems to be working on something different for its next device. There are speculations that a future iphone, possibly iPhone 7, might have a water resistant technology based on a self-healing elastomer material.

 

iphone 6 plus

 

Apple filed a patent last week detailing the use of a self-healing material over a device’s external connectors. This means future Apple devices might not need a flap to cover the connectors to be waterproof. The patent suggests external connectors will remain hidden under a material that will allow penetration and then automatically seal back when the external device is removed.

elastomer-apple-patentAn illustration of how a port sealed with elastomer would temporarily allow a prob penetrate its surface. Image credit: USPTO/Apple Inc.

According to the patent filed by Apple:

The self-healing elastomer may obscure the electronic connectors from the user as well as provide environmental protection for the connector and the electronic device. Electronic probes may temporarily penetrate the self-healing elastomer to mate with the electronic connector. After removal of the probes the self-healing elastomer may elastically reform and self-heal.

This isn’t the first waterproof related patent filed by Apple. One was recently approved titled Liquid Expulsion From An Orifice. This patented technology uses sound to expel liquid from a certain parts of a device, like the speaker.

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Taking it even further, a patent was recently filed too called Electronic Devices With Housing Port Shutters which also details another kind of protection against liquid. This allows shutters to automatically close openings on a device if the presence of a damaging element, like water, is detected.

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As with most patents filed by Apple, we can’t be sure when it will be used on their devices or which device it will be found. However, there’s a chance the next iPhone might make use of one or two of these patented technologies.

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