Los Angeles – Almost everyone knows someone who has accidentally dropped their phone in water and then been forced to deal with the unhappy repercussions. Most people first attempt to dry out the device before resorting to customer service just purchasing a new phone.
With an eye toward this problem, Apple announced this week that it has received a patent for its liquid contact indicator technology. Patent 8,210,032 was awarded for Apple’s technology that can quickly determine whether or not a device has been submerged in liquid. The tiny electronic device, intended for use by customer service representatives, is placed inside the product and provides a visual indicator when a product is dropped into water or any other liquid. The liquid indicator technology included in Apple’s new patent is particularly helpful because water damage is one of the top reasons for product malfunction. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine the exact reason for product malfunction by a simple physical examination or a quick phone call, verification of water exposure is an essential troubleshooting feature. The instantaneous verification of a blinking red light can assist customer service representatives to quickly ascertain the exact nature of the problem, provide more efficient trouble-shooting and help in warranty claim assessment.
Despite the fact that the patent for its water detection device was filed in 2010 and awarded only recently, Apple has included some form of the technology in products since the inception of the iPhone. The water detection technology is particularly important because Apple’s iPhone warranty specifically excludes water damage. Apple’s iPhones currently have a small button that shows red when a device is dropped in water, thus giving customer service representatives the instant ability to ascertain specific details about product malfunction. Consequently, by instantly eliminating the warranty claims of any consumer who has dropped their device in water, the company can save thousands of dollars in insurance claims and countless hours of wasted customer service representative troubleshooting.