As many people have learned the hard way, water and electronics don’t mix. Apple realizes that and has developed strategies to make their devices increasingly more water-resistant. Just look at the Apple Watch to see one way the company is innovatively handling water damage.
Instead of drowning in water, the Watch uses its speakers to eject excess liquid from its ports. Now two recent patents suggest this method (and others) may be extended to the iPhone or iPad.
One patent, titled “Systems for increased drying of the speaker and sensor components exposed to moisture,” describes a way to remove moisture from the inside of a device before it causes damage.
The new patents focus primarily on moisture exposure and ways of handling water that makes its way into ports and openings such as speaker grills. They do not address the full immersion of a device.
The patents describe several other different systems to detect water and ways to remove it from the device.
One proposed method would use a pressure sensor to detect moisture and “facilitate its elimination” from a device. This system would use a gel-based pressure sensor installed on a lid that covers part of the device. This gel would be surrounded by an electrode that can detect whether water is present.
Once water is detected, the system has a novel way of removing it. Instead of blasting it out of the device, Apple’s proposed idea would use heat to remove the “embedded water” by evaporation. The same electrodes used in the sensor part of the system then could be used to generate heat in a sufficient amount to dry out the device before damage occurs.