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  • Apple Looking to Improve Water Damage Detection With New Patent



    Certain things in life are impossible. Alchemy. Flying. Turning Super Saiyan.

    Apple is looking to add “preventing water damage” to that list with new improved ways of indicating if you exposed your gadgets to a little midnight turd fishing in the toilet.

    Apple’s new technology would detect water damage in portable device through circuitry rather than the current color-coded-more-sensitive-than-Lebron’s-feelings contact indicators. Apple’s patent application titled “Mechanisms for Detecting Exposure to water in an Electronic Device,” indicates water-soluble glue, and the previously mentioned circuit based methods as superior forms of detection.

    According to the filing Apple employees are sometimes unqualified to properly check whether or not a customer’s device has water damage. This results in some people receiving replacements when their device should not have been covered under the warranty.

    In order to save money the first solution is described as a “immersion detection mechanism” where the water sensor would be covered in a water-soluble conductive glue that would act as an electronic insulator between two conducting pieces. If a device is submerged and the insulator dissolves changing the impedance of the path, it would alert a data processor that would log water exposure events within the device.

    The next solution involves several water sensors arranged and connected within the device as a randomly accessible sensor array. A current would be passed through these paths and any change in impedance detected would again alert a data processor which would then log water damage events.

    Obviously questions of sensitivity and false readings would come into question. Would simply leaving your phone in the bathroom during a particularly long shower be enough to register with the sensors as a water damage event? Hopefully the devices can be calibrated to withstand non-harmful daily conditions.

    Source: Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Looking to Improve Water Damage Detection With New Patent started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. Jammole's Avatar
      Jammole -
      i actually dropped my 3G in boiling water(I don't know how that happened), took it to Apple and of course got rejected because of that red sticker. Took it to AT&T and said my phone is acting funny. They didn't know what was wrong with it so they gave me a new one.

      Anybody else took their water damaged iphone to AT&T?
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jammole View Post
      i actually dropped my 3G in boiling water(I don't know how that happened), took it to Apple and of course got rejected because of that red sticker. Took it to AT&T and said my phone is acting funny. They didn't know what was wrong with it so they gave me a new one.

      Anybody else took their water damaged iphone to AT&T?
      No, I havnt taken an iPhone into AT&T for that particular reason, but I have for other issues in the past. Like you, in my experiences, AT&T has been much more helpful and understanding then the Apple store. Usually (not always) if your phone isn't working, AT&T will do the reasonable/fair thing, and replace your phone with one that actually works. They are nice about it too, they don't make you feel like your lying about it, and inspect and interroggate you like a CSI agent.
    1. Bob Bass's Avatar
      Bob Bass -
      Seems to me that Apple should instead focus its energies on making the phone water-proof. There would be no need then to detect water damage. Why not solve the problem instead of fixing the symptom?
    1. Quincemeister's Avatar
      Quincemeister -
      i thought Apple were in cahoots with H2o who would coat the phones at manufacture stage, the same as liquipel at the ces show?
    1. ikesmasher's Avatar
      ikesmasher -
      shouldnt they be trying to improve water PROTECTION instead of water DETECTION?

      PS. In my opinion, certain language used in this article is immature and annoying.
    1. iSteed's Avatar
      iSteed -
      I would rather them work on water resistance technology then this
    1. The6uest's Avatar
      The6uest -
      Apple is looking to add “preventing water damage” to that list with new improved ways of indicating if you exposed your gadgets to a little midnight turd fishing in the toilet.
      I don't see anything about "preventing" water damage in there. They really should try to prevent it with protective coatings rather than making new water sensors. But of course then they wouldn't have that as an excuse to not replace someone's iPhone.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      How about simply making the phone water proof instead? I mean we can make water proof cameras that can play and record sounds...why can't they make a water proof phone?

      Oh, right, then they don't get to rip customers off by saying they have to buy a new phone because the one they had was water damaged....
    1. Co1d Night's Avatar
      Co1d Night -
      Quote Originally Posted by cypherstream View Post
      Apple is going about this the wrong way. Why not prevent water from damaging the device in the first place? Everybody wins. At CES there was a company that created a nano coating that repels water. They infused a tissue with it and then they put the tissue in a fish tank. When they pulled it out of the water it was completely dry. Mthe most amazing thing I've seen since a tissue is designed to absorb moisture.

      Anyway they said the coating could be applied to electronic components and it would protect them from being submersed in water.

      Because if no iDevices are water damaged that means Apple can't make a quick $$ for an out-of-warrenty repair, or they will lose $$ from people who would go out and buy a new iDevice.