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Nokia handsets to be water repellant?

Before we spent time getting better acquainted with the Nokia Lumia 610 at yesterday’s Summer Media Party in London, we were presented with a reminder of just what Nokia have been up to during the past 18 months. In case you haven’t noticed, they’ve been rather busy, reinventing the Nokia image with their Lumia and Asha product lines. But there’s a third avenue that isn’t as readily in the public eye, R&D.

Inside the Nokia Future lounge at Nokia World 2011, next to the Nokia Kinetic Device, which intrigued convention-goers with its physically flexible navigation system, sat a booth devoted to water droplets. Nokia have been working on superhydrophobic technology for a while now and we got our first chance to see it in action last November. Last night however, it reappeared as the company outlined plans to bring it to their future product families as a potential feature.

water droplets

Conor Pierce, VP for Nokia Western Europe explained that the phenomenon of water rolling off a lotus leaf has baffled scientists for decades, but now technology has been developed to replicate these hydrophobic qualities and ready it for commercial use, “Nano technology lets us do it. Superhydrophobic technology makes water bounce, it stops it, rolls it off the device and leaves it water impregnant, that’s the magic, that’s what we’re going to bring to the party.

Consumers could well be reaping the benefits of this nature-inspired research as future Nokia’s could well be sporting some superhydrophobic magic all their own; no more phones dropped in puddles (or toilets, don’t pretend that doesn’t happen), no more worry when a drink spills on your phone, fantastic, all we want to know now is, when?

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