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In the near future, there is no place that you can’t use your mobile phone,even underwater.
Electronics companies aim to use military technology, developed to protect soldiers from chemical attack, to make mobile telephones and other equipment waterproof.
The technology involves an invisible coating that is chemically bonded to the surface of the instrument, repelling water and preventing it from seeping into the device where it could damage circuitry.
It has been developed by Ministry of Defence scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, Wilts. A spin-off company, P2i, is in discussions with three leading phone makers about using the coating, Ion-Mask, on their products.
The technology works by bonding a protective layer to the device using a plasma - a gas that has been electronically charged. The chemical properties of the layer allow it to repel water and oil. It was developed for treating soldiers’ uniforms, so they would repel toxic vapours and liquids in a chemical or biological attack.
Water damage is one of the top reasons for insurance claims on mobiles, with more than 1.2 million being dropped in lavatories, drinks or put through washing machines last year. Because of this for electronic devices, protection from water is also important.