One of the most fascinating ideas I saw while attending the Consumer Electronics Show were new technologies for waterproofing electronics by using a special coating rather than a case.
This is especially interesting when you consider that water damage is one of the primary causes of death in portable electronics. And what’s more exciting is that these solutions actually seem to work!
Two separate companies were showing off their waterproofing technology – Liquipel and HzO, and each one takes a slightly different approach.
We’ve touched on Liquipel before, but it’s interesting to discuss this in context of HzO’s competing product. Liquipel is a unique process that coats your electronics with an incredibly thin protective layer which permeates every layer of your device for complete protection.
The device is placed in a chamber which is then filled with their unique waterproofing vapor. This is then bound to the device using a unique synthetically created natural material originally discovered on the surface of the sun.
Liquipel’s technology is available now, and can be applied by sending your device to Liquipel, along with a payment of $59. The coating is applied, and the device is returned to you within just a few days.
HzO, created by ZAGG (makers of the Invisible Shield) is different in several ways. First, it will not be available to consumers at all, but instead will be marketed at device manufacturers like Apple to be used in the production process. Second, It differs from Liquipel’s approach by protecting your device from the inside (on the molecular level) by shielding the individual components inside each device.
The thin coating, called WaterBlock, provides a permanent (and self-healing) block against all moisture, protecting your device’s electronic components from toilets, water parks and more. One manufacturer was showing off a waterproof tablet protected with HzO’s coating, submerged in a bowl of water for the entire duration of the convention. Coated devices can still be used to play music, and are protected even when the SIM card and battery are exposed.
The fact that this is up to manufacturers to adopt raises serious questions about its future.