22 August 2019
A new patent discovered recently depicts Apple is looking to improve the waterproofing inside its iPhones. The filed patent describes how it can be achieved in future products and what challenges the company may face during the adoption.
Currently, its iPhones already come with an IP68 rating, which means they can handle the pressure of being submerged into 2-meter deep water for 30 minutes. In fact, there had been some incidents in the past where iPhones came out unharmed even after submerged for a longer period. But Apple wants to improve in this sector and offer fully waterproofing capability so that the users may never fear to take their devices inside or even near to a water body.
In its patent, Apple explains one of the challenges of making an iPhone fully waterproof is the use of physical buttons. Apple states the physical buttons are like leak points that let the water easily slip in and damage the motherboard and the device ultimately. So, to seal these leak points, its patent thinks of new housing which itself would be specifically waterproofed. Thus the housing will resist any water entering into the system when those physical buttons are pressed.
Apple explains in the patent,
The waterproof button assembly may include a housing including an opening and a button. The button may be positioned at least partially within the housing via the opening. The assembly may also include a plurality of engagement components positioned on opposite-distal ends of the button. The plurality of engagement components may be configured to retain the button within the housing.
According to Apple’s idea described inside the patent,
The engagement components may extend distally from the button, such that a portion of the engagement components may be positioned within apertures formed in the sidewall of the housing. The assembly may also include a plurality of supports, a tactile dome in contact with the button and at least one of the plurality of supports. A sensing component of the assembly may be positioned adjacent the housing and in alignment with the button and/or tactile dome for sensing actuation of the button within the assembly.
Apple says it’s a complex approach and would require extra components to help reduce the likelihood of water reaching the internals. This approach appears to be the best possible idea of keeping the water away but it will take time to build.