Ion-Mask Technology Could Make Waterproof Gadgets Widespread

Jan 02, 2008 by Lisa Zyga weblog
Ion-Mask

Using technology developed by the British Defense Department to repel chemicals from soldiers' uniforms, a spin-off company called P2i is fabricating waterproof cell phones and other gadgets. Because the so-called "Ion-Mask" technology is inexpensive and doesn't require extra bulk, P2i hopes that the novel method could launch the mass-production of waterproof gadgets.

Ion-Mask is an invisible coating that is chemically bonded to a device using a plasma (an electrically charged gas). The coating has chemical properties that allow it to repel water and oil - or, in the case of soldiers' uniforms, toxic vapors and liquids. Instead of seeping through the cracks, water simply beads off the surface of the device.

The thin coating has advantages over the seals that are currently used for making some devices waterproof. Many small gadgets have tiny cracks that are too small for the seals to be used, but the Ion-Mask coating can be applied to even the smallest components. The new technology is also more convenient than the bulky water-tight cases some phones use.

When treated with the Ion-Mask coating, gadgets are protected from moisture, rain and even full immersion, according to P2i. In other words, it could enable die-hard cell phone users to talk while taking a shower.

According to The Telegraph, P2i is in discussions with three leading phone makers about using Ion-Mask on a range of products. In 2006, more than 1.2 million cell phones suffered from water damage, such as by being dropped in sinks or put through washing machines. Water damage was one of the top cell phone insurance claims, and consumers would likely pay a few extra dollars to avoid it.

Besides mobile electronics, the Ion-Mask coating is also being developed by the shoe company High-Tec for making waterproof shoes. In the future, P2i hopes that a wide range of products will take advantage of the new waterproofing method.

Via: The Telegraph

Explore further: Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

3 hours ago

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

21 hours ago

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

Apr 16, 2014

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gopher65
4 / 5 (1) Jan 02, 2008
I bet people in Vancouver and Seattle would love to have cells and laptops covered in this stuff:).
Doug_Huffman
4 / 5 (1) Jan 03, 2008
A dropped laptop has bigger problems than wetting. Ion-Mask would be a good addition to a robust laptop.
HarryStottle
5 / 5 (1) Jan 04, 2008
anyone know if this stuff can "breathe" - i.e. let moisture vapour out while blocking droplets coming in (like goretex)? That would make it ten times more useful...

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...