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$1,000 Spray Makes Gadgets Waterproof

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the well-thank-god-for-that dept.

278

Rio writes "A new $1,000 spray claims to protect notebook computers, iPods, cell phones and other electronic gadgets from liquid, making them completely waterproof, a Local6.com report says. A creator of the technology said it could be used for emergency first-responders, bio-medical devices and historic preservation." This might be a bit of a flashback from last year.

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Awesome. (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 6 years ago | (#24370789)

I always wanted to make an iPhone call from 1000 feet deep. Of course, that big air thingy sticking in my mouth is kind of a hinderance, but go technology!

Re:Awesome. (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 6 years ago | (#24370877)

Use it to send an email instead. I wonder if the cell towers down there have 3G or EDGE?

Re:Awesome. (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 6 years ago | (#24370911)

Are they still towers if they don't tower over anything?

Re:Awesome. (4, Funny)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 6 years ago | (#24370983)

Let me introduce you to the sea floor.

Re:Awesome. (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 6 years ago | (#24370991)

They tower over the ocean floor, don't they? Okay, how about "Cell Columns"? Or "Cell Structures"? Maybe "Cell Network Nodes"?

Re:Awesome. (2, Funny)

robertjw (728654) | about 6 years ago | (#24372011)

Or "Cell Trenches"? Maybe "Cell Evil Villan Bottomless Pits"? Even "Cell Grottos Where Alien Sea Leviathans Live"?

Re:Awesome. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371229)

Your lack of relativistic perspective is cute.

Re:Awesome. (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24370977)

I always wanted to make an iPhone call from 1000 feet deep. Of course, that big air thingy sticking in my mouth is kind of a hinderance, but go technology!

Just be careful with the underwater aliens [imdb.com] :)

Not to spoil a good joke, but why not? (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 years ago | (#24371001)

Of course, that big air thingy sticking in my mouth is kind of a hinderance, but go technology!

You can take that out though and talk for a bit (as long as you are breathing out). You can even breathe in if you let the regulator flow directly under your mouth (a required skill to be certified to dive)...

You'd not be very intelligible, but you could speak.

Re:Not to spoil a good joke, but why not? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 6 years ago | (#24371579)

Regulators don't flow air until there is (slight) negative pressure...

Re:Not to spoil a good joke, but why not? (5, Funny)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | about 6 years ago | (#24371939)

I can imagine one good phone call you might make:

"Heblblblblblbp!"

Re:Not to spoil a good joke, but why not? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24372081)

I've never had much success talking to my buddy underwater. There's so much background noise from currents, overhead boats, bubbles etc. that it's too difficult to decipher bubbly speech.

Full face masks are the way forward. They cover your face forehead to chin with a glass plate, allowing more comfortable breathing and - more importantly for commercial divers - use of integrated comms systems. Just pop a bluetooth headset inside the mask and you're sorted!

Assuming the rest of the iPhone could survive the pressure, would the touchscreen work? I'd expect the water to ruin its capacitence-based touchscreen.

Re:Awesome. (5, Funny)

Legion_SB (1300215) | about 6 years ago | (#24371005)

Silly n00b... you don't buy an iPhone to make phone calls...

Re:Awesome. (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 6 years ago | (#24371083)

Which you do with an iPhone, therefore it is an iPhone call.

Re:Awesome. (2, Funny)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | about 6 years ago | (#24372231)

You mean an iCall.

Re:Awesome. (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 years ago | (#24371089)

damn skippy
I use mine to pick up women. All the good lines right at my finger tips, plus I can stalk^H^H^H^H er get their home address to drive them home afterwards.

Re:Awesome. (3, Insightful)

tb()ne (625102) | about 6 years ago | (#24371061)

I always wanted to make an iPhone call from 1000 feet deep. Of course, that big air thingy sticking in my mouth is kind of a hinderance, but go technology!

Don't forget to install the special 1000 ft antenna (the iTenna) on your iPhone since microwaves have a hard time traveling through water.

Underwater telephony (5, Interesting)

dj245 (732906) | about 6 years ago | (#24371257)

This is very true. My current phone is waterproof/dustproof/drop proof, but that doesn't mean you can make calls underwater. I tried making a bluetooth call with the phone in a glass of water, but even a small amount of water kills the signal completely.

Re:Awesome. (0)

Amouth (879122) | about 6 years ago | (#24371273)

hate to say it but 900Mhz isn't microwaves..

Re:Awesome. (5, Informative)

bartosek (250249) | about 6 years ago | (#24371591)

Hate to say it but 3G (1900MHz) is microwave.

Re:Awesome. (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 6 years ago | (#24371859)

3G isn't tied to any particular frequency. IIRC, AT&T is in the process of moving all of their towers to operate at 850 MHz because the range per mW is better. They've been working on that for some time. That includes 3G coverage.

Re:Awesome. (2, Informative)

saxoholic (992773) | about 6 years ago | (#24371093)

I always wanted to make an iPhone call from 1000 feet deep. Of course, that big air thingy sticking in my mouth is kind of a hinderance, but go technology!

But it won't protect the iPhone from the pressure at that depth...

Re:Awesome. (3, Informative)

st33med (1318589) | about 6 years ago | (#24371317)

That is true. The motherboard inside it could crack from pressure, The multi-touchscreen could become inoperable, the screen could warp, and I can 100% guarantee that the speakers would blow out.

Not to mention you would have to prepare yourself for the bends if you ever manage to get that deep ;)

Re:Awesome. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371565)

Not to mention you would have to prepare yourself for the bends if you ever manage to get that deep ;)

No, only if you ascended rapidly after that. Or if you listen to Radiohead while underwater. Sort of like the video for 'No Surprises'?

Re:Awesome. (2, Interesting)

Atari400 (1174925) | about 6 years ago | (#24371587)

A creator of the technology said it could be used for emergency first-responders...

Why, exactly, would we be wanting to spray...

Re:Awesome. (2, Informative)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 years ago | (#24371725)

You might have a problem with reception, since water absorbs microwaves.

Re:Awesome. (5, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 6 years ago | (#24372093)

If you're going that deep, you'll want to take at least 3 iPhones with you.

If you were a tech diver, you'd either find this hilarious or you'd nod your head thinking, "Yes, at least 3, or two iPhones and one of a different brand."

The question is, of course, what they mean by waterproof.

Do they mean it's IP68 rated, submersible at depth for long periods of time, or is is merely IP65, splashable and washable?

Is it just "water resistant"? Have they sent the products out to be tested? Is this just snake oil?

Some of us take "waterproof" very seriously, and want to know exactly what it means. [industrial...osures.com]

Interestingly enough, the two specs that they list, MIL-PRF-38534 [dla.mil] and MIL-PRF-38535 [dla.mil] , don't appear to have a damned thing to do with waterproofing. They're about component reliability, and there are several grades under each category.

Not a Spray (5, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#24370791)

The FAQ for the Golden Shellback [golden-shellback.com] (what they call this stuff) site says:"9. What aspects confuse people most about this process:
a. People get confused and think this is a spray. It is not, the coating needs to be applied in a piece of equipment.
b. People seem to wonder a lot about the contacts and how they are sealed. The contacts are not, the surfaces are sealed. So, water can run in and out.
 

 
That right there ought to deal with a lot of the statements and questions that are about to be made in this thread.

Re:Not a Spray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24370845)

"That right there ought to deal with a lot of the statements and questions that are about to be made in this thread."

You must be new here.

Re:Not a Spray (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#24370889)

I didn't say it would stop them - or even slow them down. Just deal with them. And it does that.

Re:Not a Spray (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24370855)

That right there ought to deal with a lot of the statements and questions that are about to be made in this thread.

You must be gnu here

But. .. is it a spray? (3, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | about 6 years ago | (#24370897)

Is it a spray? are the contacts sealed? I'm not sure...

Re:Not a Spray (1)

PlatyPaul (690601) | about 6 years ago | (#24370909)

#1 for me is: is $1000 a fixed price, or does it vary by item size?

Re:Not a Spray (5, Insightful)

SkOink (212592) | about 6 years ago | (#24371075)

People seem to wonder a lot about the contacts and how they are sealed. The contacts are not, the surfaces are sealed. So, water can run in and out.

Think about this logically for a second. If by "surfaces" he means the circuit board itself, then this is called conformal coating and has been around for years. It is also not practical in small consumer electronics. If he means the surface of the device, then this requires sealing the entire device and making it fully waterproof (and not very useful).

By fact, by definition water damages electronics by shorting contacts together. If water is allowed to run in and out of the device, the contacts must be sealed.

I think that faq is a little disingenuous.

Re:Not a Spray (5, Funny)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 years ago | (#24371793)

water, n., a liquid characterized by its ability to short out electronics

Re:Not a Spray (5, Insightful)

hellwig (1325869) | about 6 years ago | (#24371371)

So let me see if I understand this.

The device is not sealed against water (i.e. it's not wrapped in celophane), so water can flow freely throughout the device. At the same time, contacts are not sealed, meaning the water that can flow freely though-out the device can short the contacts that have not been covered (battery, headphone, button, etc...), essentially destroying the device (by burning out components, batteries, etc...).

In otherwords, the coating only keeps water off the surface of a device that by itself isn't prone to water damage to begin with? I.e. all the plastic-coated IC's out there will last just fine under water, as long as you don't apply power to them.

What about moving surfaces, such as the speaker or microphone diaphram? Those devices are sensitive to water (the felt or paper used probably won't stand-up to water), and the high-frequency makes it unlikely that the coating will adhere and stay on.

Can this coating be applied to a thouch-sensitive surface? Can it be applied to the lens of a camera without severely distorting the optics?

I once dropped my phone in a bowl of soup, and the phone told me I had plugged an unrecognized peripheral into the headphone jack. It took a couple hours of carefully disassemling, cleaning, and drying before I got it working again (luckily nothing burned-out), and it sounds like this coating wouldn't have helped (since the contacts within the headphone jack wouldn't have been coated anyway) . Nothing like spending $1000 on absolutely nothing.

Re:Not a Spray (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | about 6 years ago | (#24371527)

Well, for $6.95 you can actually get a spray that will "make" your computer waterproof... but I'd guess it will seriously screw up the screen, the PCB, and pretty much anything you spray it on besides concrete or outdoor decking.

http://www.hectorshardware.biz/shop/product.asp?dept_id=151101&sku=782763& [hectorshardware.biz]

Re:Not a Spray (2, Insightful)

Huggs (864763) | about 6 years ago | (#24372013)

What would this do the the device's warranty? If I could get an iPhone coated in this stuff and have it not get damaged by water, that would be worth the $50-$75 this might cost... but if it voids my warranty to do so... part of the point is missed.

Magically Repeling Water and Not Air (3, Funny)

Johnny_Law (701208) | about 6 years ago | (#24370843)

A spray that magically repels water, but not air, even at vent openings?

Son, I would like to see you a part of the Brooklyn Bridge. Not the whole thing, mind you, just a portion as a souvenir. You'll get a certificate that will be filed with a US copyright office documenting its authenticity.

Re:Magically Repeling Water and Not Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24370917)

Can I get it coated with this magnificent stuff before you ship it? So it doesn't rust, of course.

Re:Magically Repeling Water and Not Air (3, Informative)

Khopesh (112447) | about 6 years ago | (#24372037)

Actually, water droplets are thicker than water. Go to a mattress store and ask about their mattress covers; buying a waterproof cover is pretty much mandatory for a foam mattress (think *sponge*), and the current level of technology [comforthouse.com] stops water and allergens but not air.

Mattress sellers often have a demo device, basically a closed tube where one end is covered only by their fabric and the tube has a whole bunch of colored mouthwash in it. Air goes through it, but you can't shake the mouthwash out.

This would obviously ding fan efficiency, but fanless laptops already exist...

I would wonder about their claim of "Completely Waterproof" ... does that mean I can drop it in the tub and scrub it clean? There has to be a limit somewhere...

In other news (3, Funny)

Lord MuffloN (1310101) | about 6 years ago | (#24370861)

Snake Oil Incorporated reported their stocks have risen with a whole of 8%!

Re:In other news (1)

geobeck (924637) | about 6 years ago | (#24371983)

Snake Oil Incorporated reported their stocks have risen with a whole of 8%!

Yeah, but they'll fall after I sue them for stealing the secret formula for my magic spray that repels tigers*:

- 250 mL distilled water
- 25 mg proylene glycol
- 10 mg "secret ingredient"

.

*Not intended for use in Asia.

I am a little skeptical (3, Informative)

SkOink (212592) | about 6 years ago | (#24370895)

In order to waterproof anything electronic, every entry point for water needs to be completely sealed. Does anybody else see the problem here? Yes, that Blackberry might still be powered on. But no, you probably can't depress the keys any more and you almost certainly can't charge it or plug in headphones.

Also, 0.001" thick? I bet it scrapes off on accident rather easily. I also highly doubt that anybody could apply a coating that thin from a hand-held spray can.

Re:I am a little skeptical (3, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#24370981)

Or - rather than sealing off every entry point for water, you take the device apart and seal every surface - which is what they do. It doesn't matter how thin the surface of the coating is - inside the device, unless you make a habit of pulling things apart and scratching them.

Oh - and it's not a spray.

Re:I am a little skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371021)

RTFA

it doesn't seal the blackberry, it coats all the (not so gooey) innards. This allows for water to get inside the blackberry, but there are no spots for the water to short any electrical contacts, so in effect, waterproof blackberry.

Re:I am a little skeptical (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371391)

Um, plating (zinc or cadmium) is thinner than that on most parts (0.0005" or less) and doesn't scrap off easily.

It's also not a spray.
http://www.golden-shellback.com/faq.html

The article doesn't say and thus you don't know, just how durable the coating actually is.

However, like cad or zinc plated parts I have my doubts about the wear surfaces. I can't see how the coating won't eventually (days, weeks, months, years) get worn off the parts you are touching and rubbing with your fingers and hands removing the water-proofing.

I'm also skeptical, if the contacts are not coated how do they not short out?
See FAQ 9.b from the link above.

In other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24370913)

$1,000 Spray Makes Gadgets Highly Flammable.

Re:In other news (2, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about 6 years ago | (#24370979)

But water proof so it will burn under water too.

$1000 (2, Insightful)

circlingthesun (1327623) | about 6 years ago | (#24370927)

For $1,000 I could buy a new notebook, iPod, cell phone...

Re:$1000 (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | about 6 years ago | (#24371025)

Yes, but imagine how cool it is; for 1000$, you can go in water as many times as you wish with your tech gizmos. You don't have to buy a new one every time you work in your hot tub!

I already have this spray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24370949)

It's called PAM.

How long does it stay active for? (1)

Beermunk (530648) | about 6 years ago | (#24370951)

If a spray like this would continue to work long after it's initial application, I can see getting PCB boards sprayed which would allow for some outstanding silent cooling options.

Re:How long does it stay active for? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about 6 years ago | (#24371087)

It's not a spray - but you are right that it would allow a coated board to run immersed in cooling fluid. It would however, I would think, really limit ones ability to make changes to hardware without going through the coating process again afterward, which could be really expensive.

Re:How long does it stay active for? (2, Informative)

fprintf (82740) | about 6 years ago | (#24371775)

Haven't there been lots of examples of mineral oil cooled PCs, submersing everything but the optical drives?

Re:How long does it stay active for? (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 years ago | (#24371789)

Or, you could always just submerge the entire computer in mineral oil [leetupload.com] .

Definitely NOT a spray (4, Informative)

seandiggity (992657) | about 6 years ago | (#24370985)

From the FAQ [golden-shellback.com] on the website:
a. People get confused and think this is a spray. It is not, the coating needs to be applied in a piece of equipment.

Re:Definitely NOT a spray (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | about 6 years ago | (#24371129)

Yes, we know, but it's way more cool to think of it as a spray! We can dream of spraying our plasma TV, PS3 and RockBand drum set so we can play gigs underwater for hours!

Re:Definitely NOT a spray (0, Flamebait)

seandiggity (992657) | about 6 years ago | (#24371281)

True, true. But I would rather have a spray like this [youtube.com] .

OT - your sig (0, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24371487)

Moderation is always retroactive. But I clicked your link, looked at the comments marked "troll", and I hate to break it to you, son, but all the comments marked "troll" are, indeed, trolls. Look up "internet troll" on wikipedia and you'll see that a "troll" is an offtopic comment designed to generate an emotional response.

An example of one of your trolls is a link to a wikipedia article about an album with a disparaging word about a particular race as its name, and your comment was "what does the the slashdot community think about this?" It had nothing to do with the article, summary, or comment it responded to. I am not a member of the race you seem to hate, but that doesn't make what you did any less a troll.

The comment I'm responding to isn't a troll and it won't be modded "troll". But all the comments I looked at in your comment history that were marked "troll" were indeed trolls, and if I'm asked to metamoderate the moderations (I usually metamoderate at least daily) I will mod the mods as "fair". I don't think anyone who modded your comments has anything to fear from other metamoderators, either.

If you want to troll, show some balls and do your trolling in meatspace.

You really should change your sig and stop trolling. Stop trolling and you'll mostly stop being modded "troll" (even though everybody gets downmodded from time to time). Mods, I'm checking "no karma bonus" but please feel free to mod this down farther (offtopic) if you wish.

Re:OT - your sig (0, Troll)

seandiggity (992657) | about 6 years ago | (#24371843)

But I clicked your link, looked at the comments marked "troll", and I hate to break it to you, son, but all the comments marked "troll" are, indeed, trolls. Look up "internet troll" on wikipedia and you'll see that a "troll" is an offtopic comment designed to generate an emotional response.

Well, pops, I changed my sig as requested. However, I don't think you are being fair to the bulk of my comments.
This is a troll/OT? [slashdot.org] (long excerpt from a George Carlin interview that sheds light on his comedic outlook)
This is a troll/OT? [slashdot.org] (commentary on the article with bits of my personal experience and a link to a relevant book)
This is a troll/OT? [slashdot.org] (my personal experience with Charter as a 5-year customer)

There are more, but those examples are sufficient. I agree that some of the comments in my history fit the definition you state. However, /. is FULL of these comments which are consistently modded up as funny. And many of my comments were, in fact, modded up as funny or insightful before they were retroactively (i.e. many days later) modded down by someone (*poof* down to 0, Troll). Why would anyone even go back and do this, when the /. community apparently thought my comments were okay at the time?

Re:OT - your sig (0, Troll)

seandiggity (992657) | about 6 years ago | (#24371907)

An example of one of your trolls is a link to a wikipedia article about an album with a disparaging word about a particular race as its name, and your comment was "what does the the slashdot community think about this?" It had nothing to do with the article, summary, or comment it responded to. I am not a member of the race you seem to hate, but that doesn't make what you did any less a troll.

...and, btw, the joke was that the article was about Network Attached Storage (NAS) and I linked to an article on the new Nas album that was shipping at the time. NOTHING to do with racism on my part. Period.

Re:Definitely NOT a spray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24372263)

Also, from the FAQ [golden-shellback.com] :
a. Actually, yes, it's a spray after all.

Your move.

sooo it's a $$$ conformal coat? (3, Insightful)

sl8anic (989939) | about 6 years ago | (#24370995)

You can get a can of stuff like Humiseal for a few bucks, what's so special about this silly thing?

wtf did the author get $1000 spray? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371017)

video says i think $50 - $100 service charge

Conformal Coating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371033)

How is this different from the multitude of conformal coatings ($1000) already on the market?

Let me get this straight.. (1)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24371035)

I didn't RTFA, but from what I read in the summary, why the christ would I spend $1000 to protect my $250 iPod?

Re:Let me get this straight.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371149)

You forgot to divide by the number of iPods protected per spray.

Re:Let me get this straight.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371211)

You forgot that it's not about how many ipods are protected, its how many times one given ipod uses it's protection to stop itself from being rendered unusable.

A fool and his money (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 years ago | (#24371561)

from what I read in the summary, why the christ would I spend $1000 to protect my $250 iPod?

Dude, you've already bought an iPhone, and you wonder how people are willing to blow money?

Re:A fool and his money (1)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24371647)

from what I read in the summary, why the christ would I spend $1000 to protect my $250 iPod?

Dude, you've already bought an iPhone, and you wonder how people are willing to blow money?

I don't see "iPhone" anywhere in my original post.

Don't cross the streams (5, Funny)

archen (447353) | about 6 years ago | (#24371049)

I hear if you dump this stuff in the middle of a swimming pool, the universe ends.

Sounds like a conformal coating (1)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#24371063)

There are plenty of conformal coatings for this sort of thing. Fin-L-Kote is about $20/can. I've used that on PC boards in robotics applications. Automotive electronics are routinely conformal coated, usually with a rather thick coating.

The main problem is electrical contacts. Those have to be masked when the electronics are sprayed or dipped. The military/marine solution is gold-plated contacts, with everything else conformal coated.

This isn't going to work for something with a vented hard drive. Sealed hard drives [mt-optech.com] are available for laptops.

Re:Sounds like a conformal coating (2, Informative)

John Sokol (109591) | about 6 years ago | (#24371143)

This isn't a conformal coatings, it's a hydrophobic coating more like Scotch Gard, or Rain-X

Re:Sounds like a conformal coating (1)

Bruiser80 (1179083) | about 6 years ago | (#24371403)

It wouldn't work for a device with an interchangeable battery or peripherals, would it? Unless the connections are watertight?

Contract Phones (5, Funny)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | about 6 years ago | (#24371085)

A creator of the technology said it could be used for emergency first-responders, bio-medical devices and historic preservation.

Useful for preserving your iPhone for the full length of the 268 million months you're tired to your contract here in the UK.

In other news (4, Interesting)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | about 6 years ago | (#24371107)

In other news...

Millions of gadgets have shutdown, or been damaged, due to overheating.

Good one (4, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about 6 years ago | (#24371169)

I just don't see how this can work. It has to do one of two things. It either keeps water out, meaning that it covers and seals every opening that leads into the device, or it somehow coats every surface of the device, inside and out, including all circuit boards and components.

So, if it seals the device, how does it know what openings have to be there? Blackberrys (at least my pearl), iPods, etc have power and headphone jacks. So it is only waterproof until I have to plug something into it, rupturing the film? How long will this stuff last before it ruptures on its own due to normal use (like pushing keys on a keyboard). What about battery compartments and other doors on the device? My Blackberry has a door over the MicroSD slot that I open frequently.

The other option is to coat all surfaces inside the device. What about things that have to be left open to the atmosphere to allow humidity to exit, barometric pressure to equalize, etc? I own a Yaesu VX-7R handheld transceiver for amateur radio. This device is fully submersible. One problem they had with the first batch was the waterproofing sealed the inside of the device off from the atmosphere, which would cause a pressure differential against the speaker during barometric changes, which would reduce the amount the diaphragm could travel, resulting in reduced audio output. They fixed it by installing a valve that would equalize pressure. Now that problem occurred in a device designed to be waterproof. Just imagine the problems this would cause with typical gadgets.

Re:Good one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371493)

I could imagine it working this way (another way of saying I'm not an expert and basicaly talking out of my ass)... if the coating leaves a superhydrophobic surface behind (basically micron sized hydrophobic bumps, which may be doable in a coating) then water won't wet the surface and probably won't be able to penetrate coated holes below some nominal diameter. As long as the holes and joins are sufficiently tight (probably ~0.5mm), this could actually work as a splash protection (different from protection when actually submerged). Of course as soon as the little bumps get worn off, the effect is gone. However, the gaps we're talking about are the last bits to wear off and only the gap needs to stay superhydrophobic to work. Battery compartments would be hard though. You could wear all the bumps off the top surface of the keys and such and it will still work. Of course any water vapor that condenses inside has to get back out as a gas now, but if that's happening you're in trouble anyhow.

-sk

Re:Good one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371665)

It's quite clear this is new technology, and besides the incompetence and inability of your amateur radio manufacturer to develop a waterproof device in no way impacts the validity of this product.

That's about as valid as me saying a generic electric motor couldn't possibly be used to make a moped, because after all, my Moped had a million problems and it was "Designed" to use an electric motor.

Propeller planes will never work, after all look at the problems we have getting Model T's to be reliable.

Looks to me like a hydrophilic substance of some kind that repels water.

Re:Good one (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 6 years ago | (#24372145)

My watch has a battery compartment and my watch is completely water resistant. I would imagine all they'd need to do is have rubber seals on each openable compartment on the unit such as battery compartments or power or data jacks, and which, as long as the compartments are closed when the device is submerged, all would be just fine and dandy.

Conformal coating?!?!? (4, Informative)

jsimon12 (207119) | about 6 years ago | (#24371173)

Sounds like a conformal coating [wikipedia.org] which is nothing new, you can buy a can of the spray on type at your local electronics store for a few bucks.

M3h... (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | about 6 years ago | (#24371345)

Its a gold plated solution that will do little for Joe/Jane Average. I am not dropping $1k (unless they are Zimbabwean dollars) on my cell phone just to make it waterproof. The only way this thing could make it waterproof is if the clear coating protected the circuit boards and the connectors or seal the openings so no water can get in. Of course they said that water can run in/out...so...it must seal the circuit board itself. Again...m3h...

Batteries (2, Insightful)

loafula (1080631) | about 6 years ago | (#24371355)

How would you change out the battery in a protected product? The material obviously doesn't conduct electricity. Do they coat over the battery compartment, thus sealing your battery inside? You'd be forced to break the seal every time you swap batteries, or perform a reset on smartphones with the reset button beneath the compartment lid.

This is good (1)

acomj (20611) | about 6 years ago | (#24371481)

I've had two device fail because of liquid.. A 2 megapixel (as was the style at the the time) camera fell into a lake for about 3 seconds... pulled the batteries let it dry for a week. DOA.

A flash that somehow got beer into it.. POP, whoops..

A little weatherproofing would have helped. 1000$ is a bit steep though.

I was just researching this same thing. (4, Informative)

John Sokol (109591) | about 6 years ago | (#24371485)

Like a month ago we had to make something IP54 Compliant This is part of the IEC 60529 Standard
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code [wikipedia.org]

So even though I am the Linux Software GUY, I started to investigate water repellent coatings.

I think they are just using a hydrophobic coating.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrophobic [wikipedia.org]

Hardly worth $1000 a bottle.

Similar to Scotchgard, Rain-X, Aquapel, Jigaloo, RainClear and Magic Sand.

These use Organosilanes like Trimethylsilanol (TMS) (CH3)3SiOH, or perfluorooctanesulfonates (PFOS) C8HF17O3S.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PFOS [wikipedia.org]
Look at the fluorene chains on this one,
fluorocarbons are the basis for things like Teflon and Fluorinert that don't react with anything and so in Teflon's case make good non-stick surfaces.

Unfortunately Scotchgard has been "reformulated" to make is "safer" PFOS never breaks down, good for electronics, bad for people and the environment. the new Formula (Perfluorobutane sulfonate PFBS ) is designed to break down after a month, so you'd have to keep reapplying.

If you want to research this further see Patents, 3574791, 6676733, and 6994890

Also get on youtube and look up magic sand, some cool videos there.

great, just great. (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 6 years ago | (#24371511)

ive spent my entire professional career trying to teach PHB's NOT to dip sensitive electronics in liquids, and now these shit-whistles are telling them its okay? the litmus test for product functionality (read: "i gotta get me some of that") at this point is simple: a member of marketing coating a hair-dryer in "golden shellback" and jumping into a jacuzzi.

Prediciton (2, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 6 years ago | (#24371595)

OK, now that we've all a bunch of posts about how it can't work, my prediction is that as soon as they get a patent, we'll have at least as many posts (many from the same people) about how the patent is bad because it is obvious.

Water Heater (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371635)

1. Put this on a computer
2. Drop your computer in a bucket
3. Fill the bucket with water
4. Enjoy the worlds most retarded water cooled system.

Optional 5. Enjoy never having to pay a bill for a water heater again.

Just put a spigot on the bucket and hang it above your bath tub = Free hot showers.

Just wait for the water to boil= Tea anyone?

Just put it in a sauna = Free Steam Baths.

The possibilities are ENDLESS.

its not a spray! (0, Redundant)

sanadmin (1304727) | about 6 years ago | (#24371809)

9. What aspects confuse people most about this process: a. People get confused and think this is a spray. It is not, the coating needs to be applied in a piece of equipment. b. People seem to wonder a lot about the contacts and how they are sealed. The contacts are not, the surfaces are sealed. So, water can run in and out.

$1000? (2, Insightful)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 years ago | (#24371835)

Is that per barrel? I can't imagine how any chemical sealant can cost that much, or who would be willing to buy it at that price.

You're not that smart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371865)

Blah blah blah
"The only way I can think to do this is X, and since they are not doing X this can't possibly work"... because of course, every Slashdot reader is the ultimate expert on a topic and the entire scientific community couldn't possibly develop a chemical or technology that you have not first conceived of.

RTFA people.

Is too a spray (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24371883)

A $1000 spray is indeed a spray, no matter what is being sold. If I were drinking something, and somebody asked me to pay them $1000 for waterproofing there would certainly be a "$1000 spray", and the other person would probably wish they were wearing waterproof/beerproof/etc clothing.

If you really want to make something water proof (1)

sponglish (759074) | about 6 years ago | (#24372105)

Fill it up with distilled water--it's an excellent insulator.

Snake oil (1)

Ollabelle (980205) | about 6 years ago | (#24372111)

Of course, when the damn thing leaks water after all, I'm sure the vendor will claim:

"That's not water damage, the WIND drove the water into your device, and if you read the guarantee very carefully, you'll see that wind damage is excluded from coverage."

This thing has snake-oil written all over it.

Finally an antipersperant that works. (1)

Cur8or (1220818) | about 6 years ago | (#24372135)

This product could keep me and my gadgets confident all year round. Just be careful where you apply it. You wouldn't want to create some kind of obstruction. Then you would have to have someone tear you a new one. Speaking of, here comes my boss.

Most people seem confused. (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 6 years ago | (#24372197)

And who can blame them? I mean, /. posting stories from the Local6, where headlines are about as misleading as "Boy Eating Bear." I read about this last week, maybe two weeks ago, on Hack-A-Day [hackaday.com] I believe, hell maybe even here on /. (possible dupe-age), either way, why the Local6?

As pointed out by numerous posters, the FAQ clearly states that this is not a spray, but rather a procedure of sorts. Engadget has a slightly better writeup of the technology here [engadget.com] . From Engadget:
"...the process involves applying the coating to your precious toys inside a vacuum, after which they're basically impervious to all liquids -- in one test, a coated device spent over 450 hours powered on and functional underwater"

I wonder... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 years ago | (#24372207)

how well the DVD drive in my laptop will function underwater?

Notebook computers? (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | about 6 years ago | (#24372221)

I can't imagine a waterproofing spray being a good thing for anything with cooling fans.

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