Water and electronics: Enemies no more

Water and electronics used to be worst enemies. Not anymore, say the makers of a new, waterproofing shell that can safeguard your gadgets.

Forever trying to protect my gadgets from the perils of even a few drops of water, it sure did feel devilishly delicious to dump an entire bottle of water onto a perfectly working laptop. Normally, that'd be curtains on your hardware, and forget about retrieving any software. But not this laptop.

Treated with Northeast Maritime Institute's special Golden Shellback clear coating, this guy emerged fine and functioning. The liquid dripped right out of the keyboard like water off a duck's back. (Watch the video to the right to see how it works.)

The folks associated with the technology couldn't tell us much about the protective substance or how it's applied, since they're still in the secretive developmental stages. Nonetheless, they expect the waterproofing service to be available to the public in the next six months. Estimated prices are 1,000 bucks for a laptop and a few hundred dollars for a phone or MP3 player.

This kind of protection makes a lot of sense. Asking consumers to pay that kind of money, however, seems a bit outrageous. If you have a habit of dropping your cell phone in the toilet or running in the rain with your iPod, then maybe this service is for you. But for the rest of us who have come to treat our technology as disposable, that's an awful lot of money for a gadget that will most like be replaced in a few years.

The answer comes down to manufacturers. They want you to replace your gear on a more regular basis, but imagine the day when this type of protective coating comes standard with any purchase. That'd be just as refreshing as a tall glass of water (that you could promptly drop on your laptop).

About the author

Kara Tsuboi has covered technology news for CNET and CBS Interactive for nearly seven years. From cutting edge robotics at NASA to the hottest TVs at CES to Apple events in San Francisco, Kara has reported on it all. In addition to daily news, twice every week her "Tech Minutes" are broadcast to CBS TV stations across the country.

 

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