Apple still trying for water damage indicator patent, drop-prone device owners twitch (update: granted)

Sponsored Links

Apple still trying for water damage indicator patent, drop-prone device owners twitch (update: granted)

Apple has already sought to patent some elaborate water damage detection methods, but it's also a fan of the classics. That must be why it's still attempting to patent a water detection method that it's been seeking since December 2006, just a month before the iPhone went public. The concept is a simple one that you'll find in many iPhones (and other iOS devices) so far: water-reactive, color-changing tape positioned in a device such that the Genius Bar staffer can see that your device took a dive in the swimming pool without having to tear the phone open. Mercifully, the patent factors in a membrane to prevent an overly humid day from triggering a false positive. There's still no immediate clue as to whether or not Apple will receive the patent, which strikes us as odd for a technology that's been used in the field for so long -- not that the company has needed the USPTO's blessing to void the warranty (or offer a rare free replacement) for more than a few waterlogged iPhones over the past five years.

Update: After a little fine-tooth comb inspection, we've found that this is the long-awaited granting itself, not just a continuation. Apple will be happy, although others trying to use a similar water detection system will be turning red... for reasons besides getting wet.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget