CES 2013: WaterBlock – Thin, Clear & Effective Gadget Water-Proofing That You Can’t Buy

Posted on January 9, 2013 11:20 AM by Rob Williams

Do you enjoy your gadgets? Do you enjoy water? Would you believe me if I told you that both of those things hate each other? It’s true. Drop that phone into a loo? Be thankful if it still works afterwards. Leave your DSLR in the rain overnight by accident? You better hope that luck is on your side. It’s of no surprise, then, that water-proofing solutions are big business, but they’re also “big” in another way. They can result in bulkier products that are not fun to lug around. No one wants a bulky phone, and because of that, our phones are not going to be totally water-proof.

A company that goes by the name of HzO, owned by accessory company Zaggs, is looking to change that. It’s created a technology called “WaterBlock” which applies a thin microfilm to most any gadget through a process of vapor deposition, which results in a totally invisible coating. Your phone won’t weigh more, won’t feel thicker, or result in the touchscreen failing to work. What it does do, however, is resist water extremely well.


In a test done at CES, the company had a Samsung Galaxy SII submerged in water, and it kept on ticking. Even better – the back was off, meaning both the battery and SD card were left exposed.

Now here comes the problem. WaterBlock isn’t a solution that can be done at home. Rather, companies that make our gadgets need to be invested in the technology and set themselves up for applying it. On the upside, the technology can be applied to a variety of materials – not only gadgets – which means it just may catch on quick. Not soon enough though, if you ask me.

  • Jeff Smalley

    the question is. how durable is this microfilm, will it rub off?

    • http://techgage.com/ Jamie Fletcher

      It will eventually wear off, but it will not matter since most of the wear will be the exterior. The interior components will remain protected indefinitely. The only problem with this technology is the contacts for charging; once you expose the contacts (since you have to, otherwise you can’t charge the device), you break the water-proofing.

      This tech has been shown at CES events for years now, but I have yet to see a long-term study on protected devices.

  • Kayden

    I cannot fathom this becoming a reality until we have a way to recharge our devices with out having contact to charging station, efficiently. I know that there are solutions out there but it takes an extremely long time to do it, which isn’t practical.

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