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February 3, 2012 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Ever spill water on your iPhone? Well, now there's an app for that. Liquipel has a process by which it creates a barrier against water, coating even the internal electronic components, of your phone. They've demonstrated it by also coating a tissue paper through the same technology and the tissue paper was submerged and came out completely dry.

I thought this was pretty cool. Imagining how it may end up in different uses, from military (thinking submarines with zero friction) to manufacturing and underwater building applications.
posted by rich (67 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fact: 84% of all water-related damage to smartphones is caused by dropping them into the toilet while multitasking.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:11 PM on February 3, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's LiquiPel.

HxO was the other one showing at CES.

IEEE Spectrum Radio did a CES wrapup a couple weeks ago, and they talk about these two competing solutions and how they differ:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/geek-life/tools-toys/fixing-the-things-about-technology-i-hate

The waterproofing bit starts at 12:19 .
posted by intermod at 1:12 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is cool but I confess to some disappointment that we hadn't just propelled forward into a science fiction world where an app could actually do that for me.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 1:13 PM on February 3, 2012 [30 favorites]


I, as well, thought for a second they figured out how to make the iPhone extrude plastic over itself via software.
posted by griphus at 1:15 PM on February 3, 2012 [18 favorites]


Thanks, intermod - maybe the mods will fix my poor spelling. There's demos on their site, too. I saw it today through a news link that I can no longer find anywhere, that included an interview video with the founders. I thought there'd be a bit more chatter about this. Like from the guy I always hear on the can talking to people in the stall next to me.
posted by rich at 1:15 PM on February 3, 2012


Will this technology also work on the toaster I keep plugged in next to my bathtub?
posted by obscurator at 1:17 PM on February 3, 2012 [11 favorites]


dropping them into the toilet while multitasking

multitasking? Is that what the kids call it?
posted by found missing at 1:19 PM on February 3, 2012 [7 favorites]


obscurator, that's almost as depressing as our former store mascot, Manic the Depressive. He was a razor blade with a smiley face on one side, and a sad face the other. I miss him.
posted by deanklear at 1:20 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


dropping them into the toilet while multitasking

multitasking? Is that what the kids call it?


It's only multitasking if you need to use both hands.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:21 PM on February 3, 2012


My phone is always either safe in my pocket, safe on my nightstand charging, or safe in my hands. Are people really fumbling with their phones that much that they're dropping them in toilets? Just maybe don't do that? I use my phone while I'm on the toilet, but it's really just taking the phone in and out of my pocket while I'm sitting on the toilet, so there's no danger of dropping it in. Problem solved.

I know - it's all you people who SHIT WHILE STANDING UP / HOVERING OVER THE TOILET that are doing this, aren't you.
posted by naju at 1:24 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Very cool. A while back i was reading up on what nanotech was around now, and there was this coating for clothes that repels stains, and seemed a bit like this, but seeing it on a phone is pretty cool. I fell in a river while doing photography once, slippery rock, and while i held my camera up high and it was safe, my phone in my pocket was drenched. It works now, but took ages to get back to normal and the camera lens or sensor is all kinds of odd now. I've heard putting it in a box of rice or something dries them out enough, but it seems like it could be a good idea for the makers to license this or something if it works great, just to keep it safe from the start.


dropping them into the toilet while multitasking


I thought it was where you keep your cell phone that caused that. ;)
posted by usagizero at 1:25 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fact: I made that number up.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:25 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the non-app kind of application. Much more topical.
posted by maryr at 1:28 PM on February 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


They've demonstrated it by also coating a tissue paper through the same technology and the tissue paper was submerged and came out completely dry.

If this doesn't work out they can sell prank toilet paper
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:29 PM on February 3, 2012 [8 favorites]


You're Cobra Kai, aren't you?
posted by deanklear at 1:31 PM on February 3, 2012


Getting away from the bathroom humor, usagizero's point is spot on. Summer by the pool, woops! Or heavy rainstorm - no worry about trying to shield the phone. Last winter, my son's phone dropped out of his bag getting into the car. After sitting in the snow for a day before we found it, it was toast.

I think it's a great initial target market, but aren't there wider implications/applications?
posted by rich at 1:32 PM on February 3, 2012


Sure. Underwater angry birds, for one.
posted by found missing at 1:34 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, there isn't an app for that. There's a coating which will be used in future iPhones.

Don't say there's an app for that until there's actually an app for that.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:38 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does anybody know if there's some video (or at least some photos) of the tissue paper test? Also, I'd love to know if there's been any kind of long-term durability testing for the Liquipel technology. I'm not necessarily concerned about it flaking off of my phone, but rather about the stuff eventually leaching into the environment and inadvertently waterproofing things that should not be waterproof, i.e. fishes' gills or plant life.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:39 PM on February 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


UGH the demo video on their site is so late night infomercial. They got the music, that announcer guy, and low rent actors dressed like "scientists".

I WANT TO BELIEVE
posted by danny the boy at 1:48 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


omg ice nine
posted by mullacc at 1:49 PM on February 3, 2012 [9 favorites]


Great, but can we all just agree not to let the dolphins know about this?
posted by orme at 1:49 PM on February 3, 2012



Ever spill water on your iPhone?

First world problems.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:49 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


Are people really fumbling with their phones that much that they're dropping them in toilets?

Booze + texting + bar bathrooms.

There is no reasonable solution to this problem.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 1:56 PM on February 3, 2012


There is no reasonable solution to this problem.

Urinet©
posted by found missing at 1:58 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's not an "app" and why in the fuck is this only for iPhones? Why WOULD it only be for iPhones? Or is the blogger as much of an ignoramus as the mefi sheeple who own iPhones and honestly believe that "iPhone" and "mobile phone" are synonymous?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:59 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are people really fumbling with their phones that much that they're dropping them in toilets?

I'm sure managers of on-call staff think so.
posted by bonehead at 2:04 PM on February 3, 2012


IT HAS BEEN

0

DAYS SINCE AN UNIRONIC USE OF THE WORD "sheeple."
REMEMBER WORKPLACE SAFETY RULES.

THEY CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE
posted by griphus at 2:05 PM on February 3, 2012 [53 favorites]


It's not an "app" and why in the fuck is this only for iPhones?

It's not. Under the "buy" category you can choose from different brands.

Where the fuck is this magic machine that waterproofs it? Do you send them your phone and they do the treatment on it and send it back? The website is unclear.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:05 PM on February 3, 2012


*sigh* ethnomethodologist - I was shortcutting and editorializing for interest's sake. So many apologies for not being more specific that it's a technology that can applied to basically anything, not just electronics, and not just an iphone. I should have been more sensitive to your Apple-hate. I will point out that I'm not a blogger, though. So our mutual insults cancel eachother out. Carry on.
posted by rich at 2:09 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


> It's not an "app" and why in the fuck is this only for iPhones?

iPhones (and a few Android phones) are factory sealed. If you applied this to a phone with a removable back then the coating would probably not be so effective.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:10 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Where the fuck is this magic machine that waterproofs it? Do you send them your phone and they do the treatment on it and send it back? The website is unclear.

I thought it was pretty clear from the "Buy" section at the top of the site but I'm just playing devil's advocate.
posted by Talez at 2:12 PM on February 3, 2012


ignoramus as the mefi sheeple who own iPhones

...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:14 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this PepsiBlueFilter?
posted by scalespace at 2:16 PM on February 3, 2012



I thought it was pretty clear from the "Buy" section at the top of the site but I'm just playing devil's advocate.


Yeah you're right, I didn't see the "return shipping blah blah" the first time.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:17 PM on February 3, 2012


They've demonstrated it by also coating a tissue paper through the same technology and the tissue paper was submerged and came out completely dry.

I think my employer uses the same technology in their paper towels.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:21 PM on February 3, 2012 [3 favorites]


coating even the internal electronic components, of your phone.

I wonder if this causes thermal issues.
posted by atrazine at 2:23 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are people really fumbling with their phones that much that they're dropping them in toilets?

If you keep your phone in your shirt pocket, it's quite easy for it to drop in if you should bend over for any reason.

Also, I use my iPhone to post on Metafilter while I poop.
posted by LordSludge at 2:32 PM on February 3, 2012


Are people really fumbling with their phones that much that they're dropping them in toilets?

Hi, my name is misskaz and my phone ended up in a toilet once. I was working a conference. As part of the conference staff, I was running around like crazy so rather than lugging a purse around, I put my phone in my pocket. I was wearing work-appropriate slacks that had a slippery lining, and only back pockets.

During a brief break, I ran up to my hotel room to freshen up and go to the bathroom. I stood in front of the toilet, pulled my pants down, and somehow the phone got pushed up and out of the pocket and plopped into the toilet.

I managed to grab it right away and turn it off, and kept it off for a few days. (Couldn't do the rice trick because I was in a hotel and couldn't get the hotel staff to understand what I needed.) It survived fine, although the home button was always a little finicky after that. This was a 3G iPhone with no case.
posted by misskaz at 2:38 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


dunkadunc: " Don't say there's an app for that until there's actually an app for that."

I get the play on words in the post, and am fine with the OP using it. But I am only fine with it because others in the thread already admitted to being duped so I don't feel nearly as much like a dumb shit.

Speaking of:

LordSludge: "
Also, I use my iPhone to post on Metafilter while I poop.
"

Eponyscatical!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:40 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


My phone is always either safe in my pocket
Yeah, so was mine. My back pocket.

I have actually been investigating this and I'm seriously considering having this done to my iPhone. I have actually dropped two phones in the toilet due to my unfortunate habit of putting my phone in my back pocket. I also dropped one phone in a snow bank after slipping on the ice and another got water damage from unfortunate puddle of condensation left by a beer.

Three of the water instances were on an Android phone and they all lived to text/dial another day. The Androids took the water, quit working and thanks to being able to easily get the battery off and the phone in rice rather quickly, the Androids continued to work.

The iPhone on the other hand was not so lucky. A combination of my drunkeness, and the act of God it seems to take to get the back cover off of the 4s, it was salvagable but only just. In fact, after a month of it just not working right, I'm taking it to the Apple store to pay the out of warranty fee to have it replaced.

Seriously, me + liquid + phone is a massively unmixy thing.
posted by teleri025 at 2:44 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


" Don't say there's an app for that until there's actually an app for that."

Haha, yeah at first I thought this was like the app for getting rid of acne. Yep, it pretty much didn't work.
posted by melissam at 2:45 PM on February 3, 2012


Conformal coating is pretty cool stuff. I was at an industry conference last year and there were a couple of vendors that had fishtanks with LED displays in them.

The military's been using stuff like this for awhile now - when you've got electronic equipment that absolutely must operate during driving rain, snow, and sand, this is what you use to keep it going. It's especially useful when you've got high-draw applications like, say, a high voltage signal amplifier that relies on big fans drawing air through the unit to cool it down.

One drawback, of course, is that it makes it very difficult to repair the equipment because you have to break the coating to replace any parts.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


rich wrote: After sitting in the snow for a day before we found it, it was toast.

That surprises me. I've lost phones in the snow for far longer than that and had zero problems with them. Snow isn't usually terribly wet, after all. ;)
posted by wierdo at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2012


I've got a lifeproof case and, so far, it's been a wet weather champ.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 3:30 PM on February 3, 2012


So, like Waterfi does for iPods?
posted by progosk at 3:42 PM on February 3, 2012


My friend could have used this last week. He dropped his shiny new iPhone in the tub (I don't know why or how.)

He said he felt bad about drowning Siri to death. I suggested that he should have asked her if she knew how to swim.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:00 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


84% of all water-related damage to smartphones is caused by dropping them into the toilet

[[citation needed]]
posted by Twang at 4:09 PM on February 3, 2012


This is why I dip my phone in paraffin.
posted by zippy at 4:13 PM on February 3, 2012


[[citation needed]]

Keep looking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:29 PM on February 3, 2012


ABC news video on this here:

http://animalvideos.yahoo.com/video-detail?cid=26815009&vid=28168038

I saw it a day or two ago on Yahoo news. And, no, I have no idea why it's posted in the animal/purina section.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:32 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


This looks neat, seriously.

Also, I can't wait for someone to invent a device that administers a mild electrical shock to those who needlessly type "sheeple", "please advise", "going forward" and other such look-at-how-much-smarter-than-the-common-herd-I-am screen noise.
posted by tantrumthecat at 5:11 PM on February 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who thinks that one of the awesome things about bathroom stalls is that nobody bothers me in them?
posted by madcaptenor at 7:21 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


fishtanks with LED displays in them

I just went to an Engadget Show taping a couple weeks ago where they demonstrated by dropping a powered on tablet into a tank full of water. Input wasn't really functional while submerged but I'd imagine someone will solve that problem. I can think of all kinds of applications for a waterproof touchscreen device. If nothing else, it would make for some real advances in dive equipment.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:28 PM on February 3, 2012


tantrumthecat: "This looks neat, seriously.

Also, I can't wait for someone to invent a device that administers a mild electrical shock to those who needlessly type "sheeple", "please advise", "going forward" and other such look-at-how-much-smarter-than-the-common-herd-I-am screen noise
"

I'm waiting for them to implement death over standard TCP/IP.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:54 PM on February 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great, now we can all go throw our phones in the ocean. ...YAY!!! :D
posted by sexyrobot at 11:55 PM on February 3, 2012


I would probably get this for my Nook so I could read in the bathtub. Unfortunately not an option.
posted by BurnChao at 12:33 AM on February 4, 2012


Using technology only found in the natural world on the surface of the sun, Liquipel's patent pending credibility-eliminating process will reduce the likelihood of wallet-lightening by up to 100%.
posted by thejoshu at 3:18 AM on February 4, 2012


Last year a new car dealer tried to sell me some sort of new "nano spray coating" for my new car. Since he was a car dealer, it was in NJ, and the coating was invisible to the eye - well I assumed it was a scam.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:58 AM on February 4, 2012


I'm waiting for them to implement death over standard TCP/IP.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:54 PM on February 3


They already have VoIP, which I believe is Violence over IP.
posted by orme at 7:00 AM on February 4, 2012


Of course, phreakers have been able to strangle people over the telephone since 1977.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:04 AM on February 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got my phone damaged by water once. Brand new phone, too. I was sweeping my pool and hit the return hose. The Gobbler came off and the pressure made the hose go up and spray me right in the chest, where my phone was hanging on a lanyard. Oh, before some twat comes along to comment on "first world problems", this was in South Africa. :-P
posted by Goofyy at 9:32 AM on February 4, 2012


THANK YOU, InsertNiftyNameHere! I was driving myself crazy trying to find that original video. It *was* on the tech news section, then when I went back to link to it for the post, it was gone, and all I could find was that stupid link I put up.

Maybe the mods can replace your video link with the stupid article link for me.
posted by rich at 10:07 AM on February 4, 2012


Saw this (and the HXO version) in person at CES. Does just what it says on the tin. Apparently they'll do your iPhone for $60 in Santa Ana.
posted by mmoncur at 3:37 PM on February 4, 2012


Oh, before some twat comes along to comment on "first world problems", this was in South Africa. :-P

White Man's Burden.

:-p backatcha.
posted by howfar at 5:53 PM on February 4, 2012


60-odd comments and nobody's called the OP on "submarines with zero friction"?
posted by smammy at 5:58 PM on February 4, 2012


It makes the math easier.
posted by maryr at 9:07 PM on February 6, 2012


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