Startup HzO to unveil 'waterproof' iPod [video]

A new "invisible" film can actually make the electronic circuits inside a smartphone waterproof.
Written by Tuan Nguyen, Contributor

A new waterproofing technology may make it so that man and gadget are darn near inseparable. I'm talking about listening to iTunes while surfing at the beach, kids at the swimming pool playing Angry Birds and an scuba divers toting iPads.

HzO, a startup, recently demonstrated how the special nano-scale coating works during a New York Press preview for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Members of the media watched as President and CEO Paul S. Clayson was able to make phone calls to a Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone even after it was dunked into a bowl of water. He explains that unlike the few "waterproof" cell phones on the market, the the "invisible" film doesn't prevent liquids from entering, but instead actually makes the electronic circuits inside waterproof. This way, it never rubs off and enables the phone to be fully functional.

While a number of companies have teased similar coatings, none have yet to fulfill promises of bringing them to the consumer marketplace. For instance, back in 2008, the Northeast Maritime Institute generated some buzz when they showed off the water-proofing properties of a polymer they dubbed "Golden Shellback." And just earlier this week, another startup, Neverwet, produced a video demonstrating a superhydrophobic spray coating that can be virtually applied to anything. Neither, however, have announced a release date.

Although HzO hasn't broken through, it has partnered with ZAGG, a popular distributor of protective phone cases, to help bring the technology to the masses eventually. On the company's website they state that "ZAGG will be debuting the HzO technology with a special limited offer of WaterBlocked™ iPod touch®, shuffle® and nano® devices with HzO inside."

More information will likely be revealed at the annual event come January, so let's hope the technology makes it beyond the hype stage soon. Tragic toilet-related accidents are waiting to happen.

Contributor’s Note: Inspired by the upcoming Holiday season and emails from readers, I will occasionally spotlight and preview innovative game-changing new products that may be the perfect gift for you or someone you know. Check back or sign up for SmartPlanet’s newsletter for news and updates on more smart products.

(via The Paper PC, HzO)

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