In 2015 Patently Apple posted an IP report titled "Apple Invents a Waterproofing Method for Future iDevices using Hydrophobic Conformal Coatings and Silicon Seals." One of the features rumored to be associated with Apple's iPhone 7 is waterproofing. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals another waterproofing invention.
In Apple's patent overview they note that "Board-to-board connectors may provide durable and reliable connections, may save board space, and may be easy to manufacture. One example may provide board-to-board connectors that provide durable connections by providing a seal between board-to-board plugs and receptacles. The seal may be an O-ring, gasket, or other seal. The seal may protect contacts on the board-to-board connectors from exposure to fluids, such as water or other corrosive fluids. This seal may provide a level of redundancy with one or more seals protecting a device from external fluids, such as a seal at or in the device enclosure."
Apple's patent FIG. 11 illustrates a board-to-board connector system according to an embodiment of the present invention. This example includes a receptacle #1110 and a plug #1150. Silicone ring or gasket #1180 may form a seal between shell 1140 of the receptacle and the shell #1190 of the plug. This seal may prevent the ingress of moisture into the connector.
Our cover graphic illustrates Apple's patent FIG. 5 which shows a portion of an electronic device according to an embodiment of the present invention. In this example, board-to-board connector insert #510 may be attached to board #540. This attachment, as in the other examples, may be sealed with potting material #560. Board-to-board connector receptacle #520 may be attached to a second board #550. As in the other examples, this attachment may be sealed with a potting material, shown here as potting material #562.
Apple patent application 20160190719 was filed in Q3 2015. To review the invention for more details, click here. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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