By Stephen Schenck | April 13, 2012 12:21 PM
Water resistance is one of those smartphone features that’s really easy to appreciate, yet we just don’t see it on as many phones as its usefulness would suggest. Sure, Japan gets a ton of water-resistant smartphones, and we heard about plans for bringing a good number of similarly-protected handsets to global markets at the CES and MWC earlier this year. It’s too early to make any long-term predictions, but it’s started feeling like the feature is on a bit of a popularity upswing lately. That trend could continue if P2i has anything to say about it, with a dozen-some companies looking into using its Aridion technology.
Aridion already protects a couple Motorola models, like the Droid RAZR, but we could start seeing it in a whole lot more devices. The idea behind the technology is that trying to physically seal every seam in the phone’s case for water-tightness is a risky proposition, since just one point of failure could mean the entire handset ends up soaked. Aridion involves coating the internals of the phone itself with a treatment that interferes with the surface tension of water, preventing it from wetting coated components; think of it like Rain-X on your car’s windshield.
Sure, we’ve got our concerns about just how effective these kind of treatments can be, especially considering all the spring-loaded connections in modern phones just asking to get shorted-out, but the basic premise sounds very promising. P2i says that ten to fifteen manufacturers are looking at this tech for various products, and that almost assuredly means a whole bunch of smartphone makers. The company expects we’ll see a whole lot more devices using Aridion released before the end of the year.