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Ugh! This DUNKABLE wearable tech is REPELLENT

Something for a rainy day - like a waterproof Galaxy 5?

Get me a towel, the circuit board's gone in again...

For more casual splash-proofing, P2i’s Aridion has things covered. Now rebranded as Splash Proof, it has appeared on a variety of Motorola phones, offering hydrophobic protection against accidental spills. The company stresses that with its treatments, you don’t need to redesign the phone as the protection can be applied to a finished product.

On show were a variety of applications of P2i tech from water-repellent circuit boards to non-absorbent tissues. The latter was really just showing off how effective the coating is, with a soggy mass of untreated tissue paper highlighting the point. Hopefully, the idea of non-absorbent tissues won’t catch on, as hotels might get the idea that it’s worth laundering for re-use.

P2i hydrophobic treatment on tissue paper

The P2i hydrophobic treatment on tissue paper floats in the tank

While HzO relies extensively on improved methods to apply Parylene – a coating that has been used commercially since the 1960s – P2i’s treatment is a three-stage process involving some some clever plasma techniques for both its Splash and Dunkable applications. As P2i’s Natasha Hoskins explained on the stand, each compact vacuum chamber, necessary to perform the coating task, can treat up to 800 phones.

The surface of the devices inside are then bombarded with free radicals – a plasma process that activates the entire surface of the device, internally and externally. A monomer vapour is then introduced that gets into every nook and cranny.

P2i corrosion resistant treatments

How corrosion resistant treatments play out on real tech

A second phase of plasma activation takes place, pulsing at a specific rate that determines the fluorochemical changes that allow for high levels of permanency with low levels of coating, one thousand times thinner than a human hair. The result doesn’t impede conductivity and doesn’t interfere with the look and feel either.

On the latter point, P2i is busy perfecting the Dunkable barrier treatment, which has yet to hit production lines. These tweaks involve working out how to shield the internal components sufficiently and yet not affect external side of things such as the screen.

It might be a bit premature to say that soon all phones will be made this way, but today P2i revealed it has opened a showcase facility in Shenzen, China allowing for pre-production development work too. At the show, Hoskins also mentioned a major manufacturer will be announcing its adoption of the new P2i Dunkable protection in 2014 and later let slip that the Samsung Galaxy 5 will feature a coating of this nature. Made by P2i? One can only speculate. ®

More pics from the Wearable Tech Show are on Vulture Central's Facebook page.

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