Yesterday, I visited First Coast Connect’s Melissa Ross in Studio 5 to talk about the HzO Waterblock announcement that happened at CES.


RAY HOLLISTER: In the movies, cell phones never seem to get wet unless it helps to move the plot along, like when Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy Sachs, in “The Devil Wears Prada” tosses her ringing cell phone in the fountain after she decides that she doesn’t want to be like her work obsessed boss, Miranda Priestly, or like when Tim Allen’s character in “Wild Hogs” throws John Travolta’s cell phone into the fountain.

Scene from “Wild Hogs”
WOODY (John Travolta): You don’t need a GPS to discover America! You need a bike, and you need the road. OK? Freedom! And if we have an emergency, I got a cell phone.
DOUG (Tim Allen): No, you don’t! (Tosses Woody’s cell phone into the fountain)
WOODY: What! Hey! Why’d you do that? I’ve got all my data in there!
DOUG: Well! How does that feel, Woody?
WOODY: (Pauses) It feels good! Wooo! (Sings) It’s my prerogative! No cell phones!
DOUG: Wait a minute. No wait. Come on!
BOBBY (Martin Lawrence): Doug, Doug, Doug. He’s right. Wooo! Yeah! Yeah, Wild Hogs Baby! Wild Hogs!

Unfortunately, in real life, some cell phones end up in the water even when we don’t want them to. For example, when your dog walks up to see what you are doing with your cell phone next to the pool,

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Whatcha doing mate? Hey, whatcha doin’?


RAY HOLLISTER: or when you’re showing off how good the video camera works on your new iPhone…next to the pool.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK, so I’m taking video with my new iPhone 3G camera. OK, this is great! This, this is perfect, lovely. And uh, yeah, this is…


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh crap. (indiscernible background voices) Wait, it’s still works!

RAY HOLLISTER: That guy was lucky, but unfortunately whether it’s at the pool, the ocean, the tub, the dogs water bowl, or even the toilet, mobile phones have a way of slipping out of our hands and ending up soaked, and that usually means that they are completely destroyed.

But, what if it didn’t have to be that way? Now, there are several products on the market that will waterproof your phone, from expensive military grade cases to something as simple as a Ziploc® baggie, and there are several how to videos on the internet showing you how to fix your phone if it does gets soaked, from tricks involving blow dryers, freezers, and even rice to get the water out of your phone and possibly save it.

But, what if you could just dunk your phone in water all you wanted to and it would never break? You’d never have to worry about sweat getting on it when you went running, a spilled drink at a cocktail party, or a toddler’s juice box getting sprayed all over your phone.

This dream might soon become a reality. This year at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show a company called Zagg, introduced a new technology they’re calling HzO WaterBlock. They demonstrated the technology by dunking an iPod touch, a Samsung Galaxy S and several other devices in a glass of water and in a fish tank! The Samsung Galaxy S performed as if nothing was wrong, and the iPod touch continued playing music the entire time it was in the water. They even dunked the external speaker they had attached to it in the fish tank, and it too continued working.

They apply the HzO Waterblock by placing the device in a vacuum and then filling that vacuum with a vapor. This vapor then fills every crack and crevice inside your device applying a nano-scale film barrier that once dried protects the electronics from water and humidity. Of course, the chemical that the vapor is comprised of is proprietary and the entire process is patented. So, they won’t tell us much about it, but they say that the chemical is non-toxic, organic material.

So, what I wanted to know is when can I get my iPhone 4S Waterblocked? Well, HzO doesn’t make phones, and there not trying to get in the business of aftermarket alterations. They are going to be doing a special limited release of WaterBlocked iPod touches, iPod Nanos, and iPod Shuffles with HzO inside. However, ZAGG is primarily interested in licsensing the technology to device manufacturers. So, hopefully, companies like Apple and Samsung will adopt this technology, and we’ll see it in the next generation of devices, perhaps at CES 2013.

In the meanwhile, you’ll just have to being careful when you’re using your cell phone…next to the pool…or other water.

I’m Ray Hollister

Originally posted at Deemable Tech.