One second you’re on the phone having a conversation with your BFF, then the next you’re rescuing your iPhone from a watery grave. You ask yourself how this could happen while praying to the tech god, hoping against hope that Siri will make it. Sure you can try the rice or hair dryer method, but why resort to such crude methods when you can have a waterproof phone?
The making of a waterproof phone
Smartphones that can handle the rain, a dunk in the bath or a tumble into a puddle are one of 2014’s biggest tech advancements, says Digital Trends. You’re probably wondering how such an invincible smartphone is made, and the answer is pretty simple even if the technology is not. Phones are made waterproof through nanocoating, or the placing of a protective layer a few atoms thick over the electronic components, explains TechRadar. This barrier is applied in a vacuum chamber that removes all the oxygen and replaces it with plasma of fluorinated acrylates. In layman’s terms, the inside of your smartphone is protected by an invisible coating that keeps water from corroding its circuitry. The concept of nanocoating is similar to the way water rolls right off of a duck’s feathers.
Cost and labour concerns
So, if nanocoating is so great, why isn’t every smartphone waterproof? The main reason we can’t all go swimming with our phones lies in the cumbersome manufacturing process. According to Jared Newman at TIME, nanocoating is a labor-intensive masking process that would no doubt increase the cost of the final product.
Many also argue that a waterproof smartphone is only a novelty item. The demand for waterproof phones in Japan, for instance, far outweighs U.S. demand. Panasonic spokesman Taro Itakura claims that young Japanese women want to use their cell phones even when they’re showering. Regardless, it’s hard not to see the tremendous advantageous a waterproof phone can offer to the less coordinated.
A partnership that’s making a splash
Currently, companies like HZO and P2i are working directly with manufacturers and brands to apply waterproof technology to smartphones. The Sony Xperia Z3 is one of the newest waterproof smartphones on the market. This phone comes with a high-definition 20.7 megapixel camera that lets users take photos anywhere including underwater, says T-Mobile. The Sony Xperia Z3 can be in water for up to 30 minutesand is capable of withstanding water pressure one and a half meters deep as long as the micro USB port, micro SIM slot and the memory card slot are completely closed, mentions Sony.
The future of waterproof smartphones
While waterproof smartphones won’t take over the market overnight, it’s safe to say that they will become more popular in the near future. As long as there’s demand from consumers for practically indestructible gadgets, companies will listen. Additionally, TIME mentions that manufacturers might be willing to absorb the cost of waterproofing a smartphone in order to market a less damage-prone phone. With constant concerns over the durability of expensive tech tools, it might not be long before waterproof smartphones become the norm.