Apple Inc. has filed in an iPhone 7 potentially-related patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, regarding a new technology that protects the speaker ports of the handset from any possible water damage.
This is the second time we hear about a patent filing from Apple this week concerning a potential iPhone 7 feature. The first one that was submitted last year and was just approved by the USPTO, was referring to a panic button gimmick where the user could alarm local authorities that its device is being stolen, by using the fingerprint technology found on the home button while simultaneously locking down the device’s sensitive info.
The second patent application that has been published online by US PTO, showcases a new innovation that is going by the moniker “Liquid Expulsion From An Orifice,”. This new feature will be essentially incorporated to upcoming mobile devices from Apple, in order to protect the sensitive speaker and audio jack imports, which are being widely exposed to a plethora of unfortunate incidents, such as water damage, which has ultimately become a severe threat.
So this new technology features two ways of tackling the issue; the first prevents the water from intruding and the second one takes action in case the water manages to get into the ports. In the first case, a proactive combination of protective screen mesh on the outside of the speaker ports with a negative electric charge will prevent liquids from seeping in.
When it comes to the second case scenario, positive electrical charges move liquid from the iPhone’s respective components and push it out through the speaker and microphone ports.
Optical and moisture sensors, as well as pressure detectors, are capable of figuring out when liquids make their way into the speakers and subsequently activate the aforementioned defensive mechanism in both occasions.
The Cupertino giant has already showed signs of interest regarding waterproofing its iPhone line-up, as this year’s iPhone 6S features some sort of light water protection, implemented in its interior- hydrophobic coatings that prevent liquids from causing damage to the innards (i.e. CPU, RAM etc.).
November’s iPhone 7 rumor mill also talks about a 3GB RAM boost for the forthcoming 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, while the original 4.7-inch iPhone 7 memory will be maintained to 2GB.
The biggest hit though has to be the purported 4-inch iPhone, a rumor that has been divided into two possible scenarios. The first suggests that we will see an iPhone 6C -2nd-gen iPhone 5C- in early 2016, while the second one entertains the notion of a 4-inch iPhone 7 Mini that will ostensibly come along with the other two iPhone 7 handsets in September of 2016.
As far as release date goes, there is another hypothesis claiming that Cupertino will circle back to the old days, when the new iPhone was unveiled during June.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office