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Apple patents new method for water detection

Apple has submitted a patent that describes a better method of detecting water in an electronic device.

In other words, Apple has devised a way to know if your iPhone has been in a pool (for example) before you try to return it to an Apple Store as defective.

The patent describes a method of covering up an internal electronics sensor with a glob of water-soluble glue, which dissolves and reveals the sensor when exposed to water. The appearance of the sensor would tip off anyone examining the phone to water exposure. There are a number of different methods described in the patent, but they all follow that basic idea.

I question this research. Should Apple dedicate so much time and effort into uncovering customers’ mistakes? Wouldn’t it be better to spend that time making iPhones just more resistant to liquids?

Then again, that’s easy for me to say, but burdensome for Apple to replace all of the devices that suffer water damage every year. If a patent like this helps Apple avoid some of those costs, maybe that’s better for both the company and its customers.

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