TECH
01/19/2012 02:21 pm ET

Liquipel Will Waterproof Your Phone With This Invisible Film

What's white and wet and still works all over? A white iPhone! If it has a Liquipel case, that is.

This "case" consists of a waterproof "nano coating" that permanently bonds to the phone's surface to keep it functioning normally even underwater, according to Liquipel.

That's right.

According to Cult of Mac, Liquipel doesn't just protect your phone from rain or random splashes, it permeates every nook and cranny in the hardware to for total H2O immersion without any damage. On their website, the folks at Liquipel are quick to point out that this doesn't mean you can take your phone swimming. The coating, which is 1000 times thinner than a human hair, is meant to protect against "rain, spills, baby drool and short term submersion such as the sink or toilet."

We haven't actually tried it, but if it works this could be huge, and not just for our wallets. Liquipel will likely make a bundle, if the company succeeds in its reported goal of licensing its technology to smartphone makers, a move that would undoubtedly be applauded by consumers, as it would be mean that phones could be waterproofed during assembly and not as an aftermarket add-on.

As it is, you have to send your phone to Liquipel in order for the coating to be applied. Waterproofing costs $59 and takes 1-2 days. At the time of this writing, the store was down due to "overwhelming response." Liquipel is offering 15 percent off as an apology for the inconvenience. The coating can currently be applied to certain models of the iPhone, as well as some phones from HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.

Liquipel isn't the only company attempting to win the war on water. Utah firm HzO won the 2012 Innovations Design and Engineering Award at CES for its WaterBlock technology which, like Liquipel, is applied via vapor deposition. Basically, a phone is placed in a sealed chamber and a gas is introduced into the chamber and builds up on the phone in a film. The thickness of the coating is controlled by the amount of gas that is let into the chamber. WaterBlock is not currently available to consumers.

Waterproofing was huge at this year's Consumer Electronics Show where liquid friendly offerings included a bevy of smartphones and tablets, including AT&T's Pantech Element, which can reportedly spend 30 minutes underneath one meter of water without any ill effects.

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