Apple wants to make future iPhones waterproof, not just water resistant, as evidenced by a newly granted patent (number 11,205,548) for a waterproof button assembly.
About the patent
In the patent, Apple notes that buttons on devices such as iPhones are vulnerable to damage caused by exposure to water as a result of inadequate sealing conditions within the push-button.In addition, the configuration of conventional push-buttons, and specifically the through hole to the interior of a housing for the push-button, prevents any seal component used within the push-button from guaranteeing a perfect seal within the push-button.
Apple wants to change this with upcoming iPhones. The company has also been granted, or applied for, patents regarding: a “vacuum sealed connector” for Lightning, USB-C ports, and other ports; an internal cavity and a sensor that detects and expels water; and an underwater user interface.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A waterproof button assembly. The waterproof button assembly may include a housing including an opening and a button. The button may be positioned at least partially within the housing via the opening. The assembly may also include a plurality of engagement components positioned on opposite-distal ends of the button. The plurality of engagement components may be configured to retain the button within the housing.
“The engagement components may extend distally from the button, such that a portion of the engagement components may be positioned within apertures formed in the sidewall of the housing. The assembly may also include a plurality of supports, a tactile dome in contact with the button and at least one of the plurality of supports. A sensing component of the assembly may be positioned adjacent the housing and in alignment with the button and/or tactile dome for sensing actuation of the button within the assembly.”