We were rather stoked when Liquipel brought its "watersafe" nanocoating service from California to South East Asia in fall 2012, but it turns out that the Santa Ana-based company had another surprise lined up for us later on. At Startup Debut 2013 in Las Vegas today we saw the announcement of Liquipel 2.0, which claims to have "significant advancements in durability, corrosion resistance and water protection" than its predecessor. Specifically, the new version is "up to 100 times more effective... while maintaining component integrity and RF sensitivity." Obviously we had to see it to believe it, and to our surprise, this time Liquipel had a demo that let us submerge a 2.0-coated iPhone 5 under two feet of water -- you can see us going bonkers with it in the video after the break.
According to Managing Director Sam Winkler, a device thoroughly treated with Liquipel 2.0 can actually achieve a liquid protection rating of at least IPX7: immersion at a depth of 1m for 30 minutes. While the iPhone 5 we tortured did eventually take in too much water and thus disabled the touch panel, it quickly came back to life after we shook off some of the water. Winkler added that his company's now offering its 4ft x 4ft "Liquipods" for shops that want to provide the Liquipel treatment themselves, but it'll be a while before all existing partners -- mostly outside the US -- can be upgraded to 2.0. That said, interested customers can already get the 2.0 treatment for the same price via the online service in the US.
One final note: it turns out that Jaybird also uses Liquipel during the assembly of its sports headphones. Hopefully we'll see more products treated with the same goodness in the near future.
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Myriam Joire contributed to this article.