Monday, January 16, 2012, 10:16 am PT (01:16 pm ET)
Apple could water-proof future devices with HzO technologyHzO, the maker of a "WaterBlock" technology shown off at last week's Consumer Electronics Show, has said it is in talks with Apple about using its material in future devices, including the iPhone.
HzO was promoting its nano-scale film barrier at CES last week, pitching it as a potential solution to waterproof expensive electronic equipment. One of their demonstrations included submerging an iPhone into water, and having it remain in proper working order.
HzO's technology is similar to the nano-coating process demonstrated at CES by P2i, branded "Aridion" and profiled yesterday. A video demonstration of Aridion-treated paper also appeared in this week's Weekend Tech Review. The technology is already in use by Motorola on both its Droid RAZR smartphone and XYBOARD tablet.
While speaking to attendees at the show, officials with HzO said that Apple is among the companies that have shown interest in the water repelling technology, according to Pocket-lint. Company officials said Apple was interested in making a future iPhone waterproof, potentially with a sixth-generation model expected to be released later this year.
"We expect HzO to be in next season's phones," the company reportedly said.
In addition to Apple, its rival Samsung is also said to have shown interest in HzO's technology. The company said it showed a Samsung executive a waterproofed Galaxy S smartphone, and that company officials were "really excited" by what they saw.
HzO's WaterBlock technology protects the insides of devices on a molecular scale. It has been used in demonstrations to protect a number of Apple products, including the iPhone 4S, iPads and iPods, after the material has been applied to the devices in a vacuum deposition process.
The company says that WaterBlock is a non-toxic, organic material that is safe for people to use. It also doesn't change the aesthetics of a device or add any weight.
The technology is intended for "accidental encounters" with moisture, meaning use in deep waters or being submerged for an extended period of time is not recommended. However, HzO coated devices have reportedly been immersed in water for "many continuous hours," and they continue to work fine.
"The technology is designed to protect against failure due to jumping in a pool and forgetting your phone was in your pocket, or dropping your iPod in the sink while doing dishes, or getting caught in a torrid rain storm and getting soaked, or leaving your smartphone in your pants when they go through the wash," the company said.
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