The Best Product Features are Designed In
Posted on March 13th, 2015 by hzodev
If you know about HZO then you’re probably already aware that we apply our technology to electronics during assembly and manufacturing. Simply put, the reason HZO Protected devices have the potential to survive far beyond defined testing guidelines is because of how and when it’s applied.
So why aren’t more companies doing it? What about aftermarket coatings and what does the future hold for electronics that adopt water protection as a feature?
Timing is Everything
Before HZO, there were only mechanical seals. Really. This was the only ‘technology’ capable of protecting electronics from water submersion, and the defense was focused on keeping water out.
Much like designing products that use mechanical seals, the earlier our solutions are introduced into the product design process the better. HZO is capable of working on products still in the design phase in order to collaborate and co-engineer modifications in layout and materials that help create powerful solutions for water safe electronic devices. (Worth noting that HZO can work with companies at any phase of the product life or development cycle.)
In order to make waterproof electronics, product manufacturers need to understand and adopt the HZO process, so that as electronic devices are being made, our equipment is introduced and the technology application becomes part of production. This means that the areas of an electronic device, component, printed circuit board or sensor that cause failure when exposed to water, liquids or moisture are protected before final assembly.
Working this way can be a cost effective model for device makers, providing them with designed in water protection, allowing them to define the parameters around warranty, and helping them make determinations about the value of a water protection feature for the end users of their products.
Why Early and Why HZO for Waterproofing Solution Development
Our engineers spend a lot of time at the beginning of a new project defining and understanding the problems our customers are trying to solve in order to create a solution that addresses those issues directly. That may be exposure to sweat for a set of bluetooth earbuds, accidental contact with water or sand for tablets, e-readers and smartphones, or submersion safety for health monitoring wearables that have a need to be worn in the pool or the shower.
Sometimes the HZO coating material alone is the best way to protect electronics. Other times it might make sense to utilize a combination of technologies to obtain the ideal performance requirements. Either way, HZO is currently the only company with the deep technical expertise to tailor the right solution on a device-by-device basis. Developing a process, creating a solution and applying a protective technology for electronics while they’re being designed is the only way to get water protection that really works. It’s time and investment for many manufacturers, but the end result has the potential to change the importance of water protection in the marketplace. No small feat.
The Slight of Aftermarket Protection
There are a few companies out there that treat aftermarket devices (your personal electronics), but nanotechnologies that are applied to assembled devices provide low-level defense, and in the end, the $60-$100 you pay for that application won’t give you much more protection. While your phone might survive an accidental drop in a sink of dishes or a swim in the toilet, an aftermarket nanocoating is not likely to prevent the very thing that tends to kill almost all electronics exposed to wet conditions—corrosion.
We believe that no one should have to worry about their favorite devices being damaged or ruined as a consequence of going about our day to day routines. HZO solutions give device makers the capability to quell those fears with technology that does exactly what it’s supposed to. The bottom line is that aftermarket solutions don’t remove the risk, or the worry.
Features for the Future
So what device features do consumers really want? Is it waterproofing? Water resistance? More storage? Wireless charging? Samsung has abandoned certain features on its new line of phones to more directly compete with Apple on design aesthetic and material quality. One of the features that got bumped in the design change is water resistance. Did Samsung think the technology was underappreciated or undervalued?
So was it coincidental that the same week Samsung unveiled its design changes, an Apple patent application emerged that the company had interest in coating the internal components of their devices? Leave it to the 800 pound gorilla to shake the tree in the very moment that Samsung reveals no more water protection on its phones.
If companies weren’t convinced of the value and relevance of advanced coating technologies and the importance of making considerations during product design, Apple’s influence and interest through this patent application may very well change that. What’s important today in terms of product features certainly may not be important tomorrow, but we think that as technology like ours sparks more curiosity and gets more attention, the value of our technology as a must have feature will only increase.
We love this.
So I guess we’ll wrap up here by saying thanks, Apple. Thanks for putting a spotlight on the very technology that we’ve been building and improving for the past several years.
Technology we know can change how people interact with electronics. Solutions that can empower new product design. The future of waterproof electronics. Protection from the inside out.
* Would you be willing to pay extra for reliable water protection on your next phone? At what cost?
It’s a question of margins for the companies that make our favorite gadgets, but the value of the technology is often influenced by the demand for the feature. That’s where you, the end user, comes in. We’d love to hear your thoughts.