Future water resistant Apple devices could force invading liquids out

Apple is working on water resistant (if not quite waterproof) OS X and iOS devices according to a new patent filing (number 201503269659) at the U.S. Patent & Trademark office. The invention, dubbed “liquid explosion from an orifice,” would expel water from speaker and microphone cavities using varied electric charges and acoustics. 

In the patent filing, Apple notes that, typically, at least some portion of the cavity or chamber of a portable device’s acoustic chamber is exposed to the external environment to allow acoustic signals to be transmitted to or received from the surrounding medium. However, because the cavity or chamber is exposed to the external environment, liquid or moisture may accumulate or become trapped in the cavity or chamber, which may impair the performance of the acoustic module. Apple wants to alleviate that problem in its iPhone, iPad, and Mac laptop lines.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “The acoustic module includes an acoustic element and a cavity that is acoustically coupled to the acoustic element. The module also includes a first conductive element that is configured to generate a first surface charge on a first region of an interior surface of the cavity. A second conductive element is configured to generate a second surface charge on a second region of the interior surface of the cavity. The first and second charge on the first and second regions of the interior surfaces of the cavity may be selectively applied to facilitate movement of a liquid held within the cavity.”