If you’re one of the many people that have dropped your iPhone in the toilet or damaged it in the rain, you may be in luck. According to a patent published earlier this month, Apple is working on a water-resistant display for smartphones that would feature a moisture barrier to prevent water from seeping into your phone.
The display would be comprised of multiple layers including an optical shutter, a first polarizer that would be connected to this shutter, an optical filter, a protective layer and a moisture barrier. This moisture barrier would be placed on either the optical filter or the protective layer, according to the patent. The language used throughout the document hints that Apple may invent water-repellent displays at different strengths. In one embodiment, the display could feature a second polarizer, filter, protective layer and moisture barrier to “substantially prevent moisture from entering into or leaving” the second protective layer.
This doesn’t mean that future iPhones would be completely waterproof, but rather that this moisture barrier would prevent water that accidentally spills on to your phone’s display from seeping further into the device. Additionally, the patent states that this technology also could ensure that moisture from weather conditions such as high humidity do not cause damage to your device.
“As the moisture barrier may be substantially impermeable to fluids such as water, it may prevent moister from penetrating one or more of the layers of the display,” the patent reads. “This may substantially prevent one or more layers of the display from warping or otherwise changing dimension or shape due to moisture changes such as increases or decreases in humidity.”
Although Apple has yet to officially announce any future plans for its iPhone line, patents reveal that the company is experimenting with ways to make its smartphones more durable. A patent published earlier this year details a protective mechanism that would change the orientation of your iPhone while it’s airborne to prevent it from falling on a vulnerable area, such as the display.
There’s no telling whether or not these patents will ever come to market, but Apple is expected to introduce a successor to the iPhone 5 and a lower-priced version of its flagship smartphone within the coming months.