Apple has been granted a patent that puts further weight to rumours of an upcoming waterproof iPhone. The patent reveals a “self-healing elastomer” or rubber inside the phone’s ports (such as the Lightning port and headphone port) that could lose and regain its shape to keep the innards from being exposed to water and other debris.
The company may have plans to make a waterproof iPhone without changing much of the outer aesthetic, it appears. The patent, which was filed for in 2014 and granted on Thursday last week, reveals a rubber seal on external jacks that would supposedly open when you insert a connector like the headphone, and once removed, it regains its shape to block the device’s opening.
“An electronic device has a self-healing elastomer applied over one or more external electronic connectors. The self-healing elastomer may obscure the electronic connectors from the user as well as provide environmental protection for the connector and the electronic device,” the patent abstract reads.
There could be more application of this technology, do note. “Electronic probes may temporarily penetrate the self-healing elastomer to mate with the electronic connector. After removal of the probes the self-healing elastomer may elastically reform and self-heal.”
It is also worth pointing out that not every patent Apple files (or any other company for that matter) actually makes it to a finished product. However, these patents give us an idea of the features one could expect from the company’s future products.
That said, Apple has been seemingly interested in making its devices waterproof. A rumour from earlier this year suggested that the iPhone 7 could have the ability to withstand water. Also, the iPhone 6s has been found to contain seals that protect the device from water. Apple has never advertised for this feature.