Static electricity when touching home button

MaskedCarrot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
255
73
Northern VA
Being that it's still winter, I've gotten zapped a few times touching the home button on my 5s with static electricity.

I was curious if that could hurt or fry anything inside the phone? Or does the phone have something inside to compensate for that?

I would hope being that Apple put a metal ring around the home button, that someone there thought about static electricity when they designed it.
 

yeah

macrumors 6502a
Jul 12, 2011
939
104
Maybe you had electric build-up on your finger and that caused it. :confused:
 

MaskedCarrot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
255
73
Northern VA
Yes I know the static charge is coming from me. I was just curious if it can damage the internals of the iPhone.

I'm sure others have experienced the same thing. It all started with the iPhone 5s and the metal ring around the home button for the touch id.

You walk on the carpet with socks, your body builds up a charge, then you touch your iPhone and get zapped.

I'm just worried it might fry something in the phone.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,628
8,482
Gotta be in it to win it
Don't put your phone down on conductive surfaces, or touch something conductive first. I would think there is the possibility although slim, of damaging the phone.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) has been the bane of capacitive fingerprint sensors since they were first designed.

So Authentec has a lot of patents noting various tricks to try to solve the static problem. Things like sliding metal covers and bumps and all sorts of things that the finger must touch before it gets near the sensor itself.

My guess would be that they built static protection into the outside ring, hoping you'd touch that first.

In short, sensor designs take static into account and try to protect against it as much as is possible. However, nothing is foolproof. A sufficient shock can always destroy electronics.

(I used to work for a company that built casino video gambling machines. They had to protect them not just against normal human created shocks, but against electric cattle prods! People would try almost anything to try to get a machine to pay out.)
 

MaskedCarrot

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
255
73
Northern VA
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) has been the bane of capacitive fingerprint sensors since they were first designed.

So Authentec has a lot of patents noting various tricks to try to solve the static problem. Things like sliding metal covers and bumps and all sorts of things that the finger must touch before it gets near the sensor itself.

My guess would be that they built static protection into the outside ring, hoping you'd touch that first.

In short, sensor designs take static into account and try to protect against it as much as is possible. However, nothing is foolproof. A sufficient shock can always destroy electronics.

(I used to work for a company that built casino video gambling machines. They had to protect them not just against normal human created shocks, but against electric cattle prods! People would try almost anything to try to get a machine to pay out.)
Thanks for the explanation, it was very informative. I feel better about it now. :)