back to article Ugh! This DUNKABLE wearable tech is REPELLENT

Although last Week’s Wearable Technology Show was dominated by gadget solutions looking for a problem, on a couple of stands were solutions to, er, the problem of solutions from P2i and HzO. The two companies collaborate with manufacturers to ensure that your shiny new wearable tech toy doesn’t turn into a damp squib when the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want some for the bathroom. (First World Problems alert!)

    Just give me a spray can of this stuff so I treat my grout and sealant around my bath/shower to stop the stuff going moldy. Please. It's 2014 and most of us still have to put up with useless maintenance-intensive shite between our tiles. I don't expect much from the 21st century but if grout technology could move on a little it would be appreciated :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Want some for the bathroom. (First World Problems alert!)

      I'm going to spray it all over myself so I don't get wet in the rain. What could possibly go wrong ?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. wolfetone

        Re: grout technology

        "I don't expect much from the 21st century but if grout technology could move on a little it would be appreciated :)"

        Don't hold your breath, I'm still waiting for my damn hoverboard.

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          Re: grout technology

          "I'm still waiting for my damn hoverboars"

          See also: commercially available jetpacks.

          1. Captain DaFt

            commercially available jetpacks.

            Here ya go: http://www.jetlev-flyer.com/ have fun!

  2. Jim 48
    Boffin

    Memories

    It's funny the things that trigger long buried memories; this has reminded me of an edition of Tomorrow's World where a spray coating had been applied to an electric drill and the inventor put the connected drill in a tank of water and started it. It must have worked as he wasn't immediately fried. I think the presenter at the time was Maggie Philbin.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Memories

      I remember it too, I think it may have been Kieran Prendiville but I could be wrong.

      It was quite an impressive demo.

      Did go looking for it on YT but couldn't find it but did find a great Tomorrows world one on hacking. Get the BBC model B's and goldfish bowl monitors.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYYm9Lin8X4

    2. NotArghGeeCee

      Re: Memories

      @Jim 48 - I am *so* glad you posted this 'cos I had been wondering for years if I had dreamt that piece, as none of my contemporaries could remember it. I recall it being Michael Rodd who presented but whatever, I am not going mad...

      ...yet at any rate.

      1. stu 4

        Re: Memories

        I keep telling folk there was one where they had mice or something breathing under 'water' - some sort of liquid. and said it was going to revolutionise diving.

        people have pointed out this is a scene from 'The Abyss'. But I'm SURE it was on tomorrows world first!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Memories

          >I keep telling folk there was one where they had mice or something breathing under 'water' - some sort of liquid.

          No, you're right, the film got the idea from a real demonstration. Google fluorocarbon mouse for the video.

          I think it's too expensive to be of widespread use (plus I'm not sure viscosity even of fluorocarbons wouldn't be a problem for bigger critters).

          1. Captain DaFt

            Re: fluorocarbon mouse

            "(plus I'm not sure viscosity even of fluorocarbons wouldn't be a problem for bigger critters)."

            It's actually being used as in liquid-assisted ventilation strategy for respiratory distress. A real life saver for people that've nearly drowned in nasty water, or are suffering from acute pneumonia.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Memories

            "I think it's too expensive to be of widespread use"

            i think the tendency for lungs to hemorrage after a while breathing the stuff is more of a disincentive than anything else.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Memories

              Dunno about the Lung damage.

              But I would have thought it would not be that widely used anyway since you'd only be using it for commercial type diving at very deep depths such as saturation dives.

          3. Triggerfish

            Re: Memories - Liquid air

            They are still talking about it for diving. They do however use the tech in some hospitals for premature babies and such due to something like their lungs aren't properly formed/ able to take in air in atmosphere yet.

            eidt:I see Capt daft has beaten me to the comment about medical uses.

        2. stucs201

          Re: people have pointed out this is a scene from 'The Abyss'.

          Apparantly even the movie version was done for real (*). The movie may have had its share of special effects shots, but this wasn't one of them.

          (*) well according to the internet anyway.

        3. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: Memories

          I didn't see that TW segment, but I recall first seeing the aquatic mice on a PG Tips tea card…

          (old fart icon)

    3. Jim 48

      Re: Memories

      Investigating this I've found that the BBC has an archive of _some_ TW episodes at

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/tomorrowsworld/

      I can't find the waterproof drill one though.

  3. James 51

    If it can withstand head and scrubbing maybe it's the new teflon.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      *heat?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If it can withstand head and scrubbing maybe it's the new teflon."

      Or the new self-loathing sex worker.

  4. Chairo

    The ultimate test

    would be to see, if the device can survive in the washing machine. 60 degrees with a good measure of washing powder and softener rinsing.

    Last time I forgot my cellular phone in my pocket, the results were not pretty...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: The ultimate test

      My Sansa Clip MP3 player has survived a cycle through the washing machine... I couldn't remove its battery, but just left in on a radiator for a couple of days before attempting to charge it up. It worked fine.

      Two months later, the washing machine wouldn't drain, so I investigated the filter... amongst the horror of hair and gunk, I found the microSD card that the washing machine had knocked out of the MP3 player - it worked fine, too.

      I've heard of other Clips surviving the same - one user dropped it amongst sachets of silica gel. A nice little machine, even if the clip on the back always snaps off (they are easy to lose, so I've had a couple of them!)

      A cheap source of silica gel is cat litter (unused, please!). A caravan owner swears by leaving trays of cat litter around his caravan whilst it is unused in winter, to absorb any dampness. The cat litter can be gently heated in an oven to restore its effectiveness.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: The ultimate test

        The cat litter can be gently heated in an oven to restore its effectiveness.

        Does that also work for general use?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: The ultimate test

          The cat litter can be gently heated in an oven to restore its effectiveness.

          Does that also work for general use?

          Yes, if you NEVER, EVER want to cook food in the oven EVER AGAIN!!

          :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes please.

    Should be made mandatory on all new mobile tech. Should include, MP3 players, cameras and such.

    The business should be franchised. 800 handsets in a chamber at a time is fine. WIll try and plasma blast everything in one go. Cordless phones, small Tvs, modems/routers, cameras, computer keyboard and mice, bluetoth speakers.et al

    Whats taking them so long?

    But please dont let Apple patent it. Else we are all doomed.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Yes please.

      Cameras are a bit harder- the electronics will work fine, but the lenses are harder to seal against water ingress, and pond water on the inside of the lenses won't help image quality and also upset the delicate moving parts (focus, zoom, image stabilisation mechanisms).

      But yeah, essentially solid-state devices are easy.

      1. Cuddles Silver badge

        Re: Cameras are a bit harder

        Yet I already own three waterproof cameras - one old enough to have just about died, one replacement for same, and one Xperia Z1. Four if you count a GoPro with its waterproof case. Sure, they may well need to keep the current technique of physically preventing the water getting in to some places rather than just dipping everything in magical repellent goo, but given that we've been doing that perfectly well for quite a while now it can hardly be considered a huge problem.

    2. James 51

      Re: Yes please.

      Companies that make the stuff want it to break so you'll buy more.

    3. John Bailey

      Re: Yes please.

      It's ok..

      Apparently Apple use a firmware update to make their phones waterproof.

  6. Pete the not so great

    Waterproof kindle?

    Last stand of the paper back ?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Waterproof kindle?

      I don't understand why they or one of their competitors has not done this already* - I think it would be a really strong selling-point.

      *At least to my knowledge no one has - if any commentards know better I'd be interested to read more.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Waterproof kindle?

        Until that day comes, you could just buy a plastic pouch for reading your Kindle in the bath / on the beach.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: Waterproof kindle?

          I find a resealable freezer bag perfect for waterproofing the nook when walking in the rain with the dogs. Resistive screen works fine through the polythene.

  7. knarf

    Jacket

    How about a real waterproof jacket that doesn't cost £300+

    1. JoshOvki
      FAIL

      Re: Jacket

      You can get plenty of waterproof jackets for sub £30 that are waterproof. You will sweat like you are wearing a blackbag but will still be waterproof.

  8. Missing Semicolon

    Demonstrating in Shenzen?

    Expect many Chinese Landfill Android phones to be waterproof soon!

  9. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Fuck that tech!

    And now I need a fishbowl for my Pi. As if my living room wasn't cluttered enough as it is.

    1. D@v3
      Boffin

      Re: Fuck that tech!

      Brings water cooling to a new level

  10. Gordon Pryra

    And whats the use for the consumer?

    After all, if the phone sellers can still say "the litmus paper shows you have water damage, your not covered" even when the phone is advertised on the wall being underwater (Sony Experia - carphone warehouse, nice job)

  11. Peter X

    There's an amusing demo of something similar here from the Big Breakfast [YouTube] in 1990-something (poor quality unfortunately).

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Waterproof but...

    is it (dilute) urine proof? Let's face it, that's where most phones end up. Literally and metaphorically.

  13. Yugguy

    A bit wet

    I'd like a phone that can cope being in my pocket if I get caught in a downpour. Rather than me having to stick it in a plastic bag when I go running.

    1. Player_16
      IT Angle

      Re: A bit wet

      Be like Moss in IT Crowd:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLw6FemRavs

  14. Gannettt

    When you say 'dunkable', does that mean that if you dip it in your tea for 1 nanosecond too long, it disintegrates and you have to fish bits of mobile phone out with a teaspoon?

  15. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Hopefully this will end Garmin etc. complacency.

    It's about time all portable devices were made at least water resistant as standard, and I don't mean just the PCB, so that they can be used in a downpour or in humid conditions, and I don't want to have to buy Sony or some stupid waterproof bag for something which should be standard for all portable devices with a built-in power source!

    If all portable devices were water resistant, Garmin etc. would face some serious competition and have to provide better for cheaper e.g. mapping Bicycle GPS is still stupid expensive for a usable package, buggy, and with only a tiny low resolution screen. The smarter watch people are really missing a trick for this, because they could clean up, by not making the strap the only mounting method, adding other sensor channels, and adding extra button shells or cases.

  16. Alister Silver badge
    Boffin

    Never mind the IT angle...

    ...what about the serious stuff!

    When I read DUNKABLE I thought this would be an article on the far more important science of biscuit dunking:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/scientists-prove-rich-tea-biscuits-3232211

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