Apple's patent application for self-healing elastomer could lead to waterproof iPhones

Apple's patent application for self-healing elastomer could lead to waterproof iPhones
A patent filed by Apple back in June 2014 has been published by the USPTO, and could lead to the development of waterproof Apple iPhone handsets. Recently, there has been talk that the Apple iPhone 7 would be offered with some waterproof capabilities. The patent ties into this with its focus on a type of rubber, a "self-healing elastomer" that can lose and regain its shape.

As an example, consider an earphone jack covered by an elastomer seal. When a plug is pushed into the jack, the seal would open up to allow the plug to be inserted into the port. Once the plug is removed, the rubber reverts back to its original shape and protects the port by covering it. The rubber covering can be made to protect against water, dust, debris and gas.

The patent is called "Electronic device with hidden connector." Apple does own a patent for a waterproof logicboard which has been employed in the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus. This could explain why the two phones stand up well to water, even though they are not considered water resistant.


source: USPTO via AppleInsider

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32 Comments

1. ph00ny

Posts: 2066; Member since: May 26, 2011

Self healing elastomer? Didn't LG or someone already use that on their phone? Not for sealing up open jacks but to repair scratched surfaces on the phone?

14. engineer-1701d unregistered

we use it in air conditioning systems for geothermal units its like your ass hole puckers up normally but allow one way passage out or apples case in. but its a good idea to put in phone jacks but but still need a nanohydrophobic coating on board and battery like liqupel

2. ph00ny

Posts: 2066; Member since: May 26, 2011

ugh double posted!!!

3. KillerKeyboard

Posts: 372; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Oww... Watergate.:D

20. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Mr Engineer-1701D said, Virgin ass-gate

4. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I Just Wish Apple Would Make An iPhone That I Actually Want For Once, Waterproofing Is A Step Toward That. Post #3 NOOOOOOOO JUST NO.

5. ph00ny

Posts: 2066; Member since: May 26, 2011

Depending on how quickly that "elastomer" regains shape, it sounds like a recipe for a disaster

6. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Dude, current iPhones are damn near waterproof.

7. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Can't be dam near. Either it isn't or it is.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Ikr, And The S6 As Well.

11. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

If it turns out perfectly as the article says then its very cool... But like u said there is some possibility that this would turns out to be a disaster. Slow regaining shape or depraciation on "elastomer's" elasticity etc can make it a disaster. I hope they test it very well before releasing. But I do hope this wont stay just like the countless other patented stuff that never seen the light of the day...

15. engineer-1701d unregistered

plus with chemicals from pools and rain saltwater etc and sun drying and cracking will happen

32. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Yeah, why don't they just seal the inside of the mini jacks like other phones have done, their mini jack's don't really care if they go underwater. This really sounds like something that could easily get worn out and such quite easily, and then people expect it to be waterproof but suddenly isn't, a sealed mini jack does not have this problem.

8. KillerKeyboard

Posts: 372; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Haha. I just referenced it to the "Watergate Scandal". Though yeah, I would like a waterproof iPhone, too.

10. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

This is great

13. Hashed unregistered

"When a plug is pushed into the jack, the seal would open up to allow the plug to be inserted into the port. Once the plug is removed, the rubber reverts back to its original shape You mean like a V****a?

16. engineer-1701d unregistered

no an ass hole hate to say it but i bet tim cook came up with this ide and said yes yes yes do it people will love it push it in and take it out

23. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA..... Gaygate

25. Elastomer

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

thats what they will say when that hole cant revert back to original shape because too much use (audio jack hole)

18. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Humanity has a lot to learn from nature

17. Deca-core

Posts: 75; Member since: Nov 20, 2015

why dont they just follow sony?

26. Elastomer

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

because they are apple.. they wont copy from other, they steal and copy when they think nobody will notice

29. ph00ny

Posts: 2066; Member since: May 26, 2011

Because waterproofing is a requirement in Japan and not some wonder of the world that Sony came up with

19. tedkord

Posts: 17452; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Sigh. Another Apple "patent". Taking something someone else invents, and trying to lock down it's use.

22. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Will Apple sue Samsung Galaxy S7's ClearForce? Or iSheep will scream 'Copy Cat' again to Samsung?

21. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Mr Engineer-1701D said, Virgin ass-gate

24. Elastomer

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 13, 2015

so they can apply patent for using other people's patent for mobile phones so other company cant use elstomer? (btw, olastomer is already used in various field) did samsung patented magnesium body? did sonny/oppo patented glassback cover? seems like USPTO is the real patent troll around there :-/ and its not like theyll ever implement it

27. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Correct me if I am wrong! If Apple release the Patten first. It would never happen/apple never make it as real product. But, when Apple release the product first, for example 3D touch. Suddenly 'BAMM', Apple said the Pattent is from A year before (2014). The Apple fans said, Apple have the Pattent from 2006 or so. But as far as I know, the old one is controllin trough Bazel/Samrt Bazzel. Thank you.

30. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

OMG! Apple invented the waterproof phone! That's real innovation! Take this, Android users!

31. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

*looks at samsung galaxy s5 and other phones with open jack going underwater and not caring the slighest* Hrm, just me or does this patent sound......odd?

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