Apple has a crazy invention for self-drying iPhones

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Letting water in? There's an app a patent for that. Photo: TechSmartt
Apple is working to make its future iPhones more waterproof.
Photo: TechSmartt

Apple has been taking steps to make the iPhone more water resistant than it has been previously. However, a newly-published patent application suggests the company may go even further — by using cutting-edge electrode technology to actively expel water that has become trapped in the device, rather than just fighting to keep it out.

Here’s how it could conceivably work.

How Apple's new patent might work.
How Apple’s new patent might work.
Photo: Apple/USPTO

Apple’s “Liquid expulsion from an orifice” invention is predicated on sensors inside the iPhone. These sensors would be capable of detecting liquid which has either seeped into the device if it’s doused with water, or possibly collected there due to condensation from humidity.

In some versions of the patent, the sensors would be regular acoustic sensors such as those which help make up onboard microphones. These would carry out tone analysis to determine if there was unwanted liquid in a device, which could potentially damage internal components.

Electrodes would then be used to move the drops of liquid toward an exit point, where it could be safely expelled from the iPhone. As Apple describes it, these electrodes could switch between positive, neutral and negative charges to either attract or repel liquid.

It all sounds impressively high-tech, and — hey — if it was another step toward protecting us from accidental water damage on our iPhones, it’s absolutely a feature I’d love to see Apple add for a next-generation iPhone.

Apple has previously applied for a patent for technology designed to prevent liquids or unwanted materials like dust from entering its devices.

Source: USPTO

Via: Apple Insider