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An invisible wet suit for your iPhone or Android device

New waterproofing technology will protect an iPhone, iPod Shuffle, or certain Android phones from spills and splashes.

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Electronics come with one cardinal rule. Never, ever get them wet. But now a new technology is washing away that maxim.

Three companies have introduced ways to waterproof gadgets – no bulky case required. They all revolve around the same idea: a nanocoating that wraps devices in an invisible armor 1/1000th the thickness of a human hair.

P2i, HzO, and Liquipel say their protective barriers save gadgets from spills, splashes, and getting caught in the rain. Water simply beads up and slides off.

The competing companies are pitching the technology to gadgetmakers, hoping to insert this nanocoating process into the assembly lines for phones, hearing aids, and even hiking shoes. But Liquipel stands as the only one talking directly to gadget owners.

For $59, Liquipel will seal up an iPhone, iPod Shuffle, or any of seven approved Android phones. An extra $10 will expedite the process from a few days to a few hours. (That doesn't account for shipping, since everything runs through Liquipel.com, not a bricks-and-mortar shop.)

This aftermarket solution works in basically the same way as nanocoating new electronics. Each device goes into a vacuum chamber. Once all the air is sucked out, the companies pump in their own version of a chemical vapor. The vapor seeps into the object, coating the components that water would disrupt. As the film sets, it binds to the gadgets, and will last for several years.


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