Are wearables about to get a lot more waterproof thanks to HZO?

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One of the big challenges that will face wearable technology is that of waterproofing. If you’ve got a smart device perched on your wrist – you don’t really want to risk destroying it every time you do the washing up. Which is why at the Wearable Tech Conference it was fun to see a demonstration in which a man soaked his Samsung Galaxy Gear watch with everything from water, to salt, to beer. And for everything to be fine after.

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The technology is known as “HZO”, which claims to be a proprietary nanotechnology that can be coated on to gadgets and will seal them in – preventing water from getting in. Apparently it is more robust than the most common method of waterproofing – simply using a watertight seal (as is currently done in the Sony Xperia series of phones, for example).

It looks pretty successful too. On the booth at the show, they had a Raspberry Pi running underwater for the whole day – outputting a video to a screen the whole time, and they also had a tank in which punters could come and dunk a gadget – as can be seen on this video:

Now its important to note that this technology isn’t a consumer product. It isn’t like you’ll be able to head down to the local hardware store and buy a tin of HZO to waterproof your gadgets – but the plan is for HZO to work with hardware manufacturers to get their coating on the circuits as they’re manufactured. So whilst it may be invisible to us in the future – it’s going to be important if the iWatch is going to be allowed to go wind surfing with you.

James O’Malley