Apple would like to make its smartphones as waterproof as its Apple Watch

    Apple uses a nifty technique to remove water from the speaker openings in its Apple Watch. A similar solution could now be used on the iPhone.

    In the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple presented for the first time a function that removes water from the openings of its connected watch. In two new patents, engineers describe solutions that in the future could also be used in Apple smartphones.

    In the first patent, Apple explains that the functions of a device can suffer from the entry of liquids inside the case. So you need a system that removes these fluids as efficiently as possible. As with the Apple Watch, Apple describes the use of a small speaker, whose vibrations should help achieve this.

    Here is a cross section of the solution offered by Apple. / © Apple via the US Patent Office

    Apple describes several arrangements of internal components to help remove fluids from inside the smartphone as efficiently as possible. For example, the internal walls could be given a special coating. A sensor should also help detect humidity.

    Unlike the current Apple Watch, the system could therefore possibly work automatically in the future. Currently, the smartwatch’s “water lock” still needs to be activated manually. When the lock is deactivated, the existing water is expelled.

    These slow-motion recordings show how the airlock works in the current Apple Watch:

    An improved water lock for future devices

    But Apple engineers go further and describe in a second patent, among other things, other possibilities for removing water or other liquids from the case.

    For example, a small heating element could be used in addition to a speaker. By heating up to over 100 degrees Celsius, liquids in the extremely small chamber can be turned into gas. In this case, the water is not expelled, but evaporates in the device.

    As usual, such patents do not necessarily mean that the techniques will end up in an actual product in the form shown.


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