We didn’t talk much about CES this year, but one thing thing that really stood out was Liquipel. Liquipel is a Santa Ana, California based company that produces a “hydrophobic nanotechnology” coating for electronic devices. Anything this coating is applied to becomes near water-proof, and because of the way Liquipel is applied to devices in a gas state, even the internal components receive the treatment. The treatment costs about $60 for a typical smartphone, and more for larger tablets, headphones, and some laptops (though it cannot be applied to mechanical keyboards).
It sounds exciting, but the technology just isn’t there yet to make devices work unconditionally with the water. For one thing capacitive touch screens don’t work underwater Further once a device becomes waterlogged it needs to avoid being charged by an external power source until it is completely dry. The company reiterates again and again that Liquipel is only designed for short-term submersion and accidental water exposure.
While water seamlessly glides off of the nanoparticle coating, airflow and heat dissipation are seemingly unaffected by it. This won’t cause devices to overheat.
Liquipel first showed up at CES 2012, but this year it has revamped the recipe to version 2.0 and believes the product is ready for mass consumerization. The company is very confident in its ability to waterproof devices, and is even offering to replace a devices treated with its 2nd gen coating should the device fail due to water damage.
We are offering the Liquipel Performance Guarantee, which is something that you won’t find in any other product out there on the market. In the event that a customer were to water-damage their devices anyways we’ll be able to help them get a replacement. – CEO K. Bacon
Before you go out and get your device treated, there’s one important thing to consider. If your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone is still under warranty – Liquipel treatment will probably void it. A quick call to Apple support confirmed that it will not service devices treated with this waterproof coating. Be sure to check with the manufacturer if you are concerned about losing warranty coverage on your device.
How to get it
The service is already live, and run directly out of the Liquipel headquarters in California. At present the only way to get a device coated by it is to ship it in and pay via its website. Although the company has already announced plans to introduce hundreds of small kiosks in large malls and electronic stores across the United States by early 2014.
Check out the video to see Liquipel’s live demonstration from CES 2013: