What you need to know
- A new Apple patent has revealed how it could one day release a MacBook that has a waterproof hinge.
- It would involve hydrophobic materials being used around the flexible part of a Mac and the cables which connect the screen to the keyboard.
A new Apple patent has revealed how Apple could one day release a MacBook that has a waterproof hinge.
Whilst Apple's most recent M1 MacBooks are some of the best Macs ever made, liquid ingress and water damage remain an ever-present fear in the mind of any electronic device users. Whilst Apple's iPhone 12 and previous models are water-resistant, Apple has never brought the technology to mobile computing, but a new patent might reveal that all of that could some day change.
A patent filed this week by Apple titled 'liquid ingress control for electronic devices' reveals how Apple could one day stop water and other liquids from damaging a MacBook, by using hydrophobic materials and barriers to shore up the hinge that connects the MacBook's screen to its keyboard. From the patent:
As the patent notes, many electronic devices including laptops have multiple housing sections which require signals to be sent from one to the other, the way a MacBook screen and keyboard are connected, for example. The patent explains:
The patent basically revolves around a barrier that "can comprise a foam material or a hydrophobic material" attached to the flexible band which is used to hide and protect the cables which run between a MacBook's display housing and the keyboard housing. It can use a foam barrier to stop water and other liquids entering or building up in the area, but also uses channels or protrusions to reduce contact surface area, as well as diverting spillages to designated areas or exits from the housing.
There are, of course, many ways to pour water into a MacBook, so a fully waterproof or water-resistant device would require work around the devices' keyboard, thermal ports, and interfaces, meaning it may never fully be possible. But the patent, filed in August of 2019, could indicate that one day Apple may be able to offers users a bit more peace of mind, if not total waterproofing and protection.
Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.
Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.
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