Waterproofing the AW: what exactly is your plan?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by BarracksSi, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #1
    Some of you guys want 200m water resistance, although others are hoping for making it swim-proof, which is much more reasonable, IMO.

    I'll ask the hard question first: How do you operate a capacitive touchscreen while underwater?

    The other problems — sturdy crystal, redundant seals, buttons physically separate from the inner chamber — have all been solved for traditional watches decades ago.

    Do any electronic dive watches have touch screens which work underwater? I watched Tissot's entire promotional video here without seeing a single instance of actually using the touch-sensitive crystal:
    http://www.ablogtowatch.com/tissot-sea-touch-diving-watch-officially-announced/

    So, I'll ask again -- can a capacitive touch display, especially with Force Touch, be made to function while submerged?
     
  2. touchstoned macrumors regular

    touchstoned

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    Apr 4, 2015
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    Hermosa Beach, CA
    #3
    It is effectively waterproof when you get it, but if you use it in the ocean for a few months it will eventually break down. I surfed with mine for 2 months before the touchscreen started glitching occaisionally, Apple ran a diagnostic and replaced the whole thing including the milanese band for free in warranty.

    So I don't bring it surfing anymore because I think it will be a hassle to get it replaced, but I know for a fact it's effectively waterproof and you can use it swimming. Probably would work fine in fresh water. I did wash it in tap water after every session and dried it.
     
  3. barjam macrumors regular

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  4. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #5
    Okay --

    "What's the plan for 'water resistant-ing' the Apple Watch?"
     
  5. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #6
    as you said the hard question is, how to make the capacitive touch screen function underwater and the easy answer is, you can't. the rest is kind of pointless, because it is already quite water resistant.

    it did make me think of this product, http://www.catalystlifestyle.com/products/preorder-catalyst-apple-watch-42mm to see if they have a solution - but it says the face is exposed, which i think will make it less than useless underwater. i was wondering if a thin membrane with a small air gap might be enough to make it work.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #7
    I have no plan, I use it, as I normally would that would include not putting it in harms way, i.e., going swimming. That's really not a plan for water resistanting but rather avoiding situations where I could damage the watch
     
  7. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #8
    I'm obviously leading here --

    So if it's still not going to be usable when it's wet, why are so many asking for "true waterproofness" in the next hardware revision?
     
  8. testcard macrumors 68020

    testcard

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    Middle England
    #9
    I agree. I care for my Watch in the same way I care for my iPhone - it's an expensive object and I would rather not expose it to unnecessary risks.
     
  9. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #10
    Nothing to do or worry about on anything I do like shower, run in the rain, workout, swim or wash my car. However if I'm ever at 200m (or anything more than 5m) my :apple:Watch won't be of any concern. :eek:
     
  10. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    New Sanfrakota
    #11
    I think people are just being anal and want an admission from Apple that it can be submerged, despite it being officially waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
     
  11. rambo47 macrumors 6502a

    rambo47

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    #12
  12. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #13
    Sweat and rainy days? You realize it's already officially rated IPX7, which means waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
     
  13. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #14
    trapping sweat or rain inside a plastic layer is hardly a good plan for improving water resistance... unless you plan to take it off and rinse and dry it every time you get sweaty or rained on, it'll do more harm than good in that respect.
     
  14. starbright01 macrumors member

    starbright01

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    Nov 8, 2015
    #15
    I was thinking the same thing, all the case would do is protect it from scratches, but there are too many holes in the case so it would just collect water not protect it from it.

    I shower with mine daily and it's fine, but I don't swim with it.
     
  15. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #16
    Oh not this again. It does not mean it's waterproof, not a real world application. And that test was done in a static tank, no other forces aside from the pressure of the water. So what's you're point?
     
  16. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    Apr 16, 2015
    #17
    I have an iPhone 4 waterproof case which is exactly this, and works perfectly. I'm getting the Catalyst case when it ships, but all it needs is that membrane. In fact, I'm thinking I could literally cut the membrane from my iPhone 4 waterproof case and lay it on top of the crystal, then close the case on top of it. It should be as good a seal as directly against the crystal.

    However, I don't plan to use the Watch underwater. In fact, there's only limited applications for doing that, and frankly, for most of them -- like a dive watch -- I wouldn't want to trust my safety to any watch that wasn't tested for that application anyway. I wear the watch for surfing now, and from touchstoned's previous post, it seems like those days are numbered and I may have to rely on Apple Care Plus to replace it (so the Catalyst case will come a bit too late). But I don't have any problems now using it in the water. But again, I'm not trying to use it UNDER-water. And aside from diving, I'm having a hard time figuring out under exactly what situations would require doing that.
     
  17. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #18
    The point is if it's waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes in a static tank, sweat and rainy days are unlikely to do jack squat on a flying rock.
     
  18. Purga macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    #19
    To me it looks like the water-resistance is as much an understatement as the battery life is.
    I had no problem showering ot swimming (>60min) with it and i never heard of any "oh **** i submerged my watch and now it is dead" concerns anywhere. There is also no videos to be found were a watch is damaged by water.
     
  19. nicho macrumors 68000

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #20
    Early on I saw plenty of damaged OLED screens (with a circle that just didn't work) - the damage was caused by water ingress. It may have been a dodgy batch though because I haven't seen it recently.
     
  20. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #21
    Manufacture defects. Also 'plenty' is still an insignificant percentage of production. Problems tend to be over amplified on forums.
     
  21. Mac 128 macrumors 601

    Mac 128

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    #22
    I didn't take his meaning the way you did. Of course the watch is safe from sweat and rain. He even acknowledged that, which is why he's buying a case to protect it from greater immersion risks than the IPX7 rating warranties. The same reason I'm buying a Catalyst case. I wear the watch for surfing, but as the other poster mentions, after two months of repeated exposure to ocean waves, his watch failed. The watch seems particularly robust, certainly more water resistant than its rating suggests, but there's more to that than just just theoretical build quality. Many watches are making it out of the factory with less than acceptable build quality with adhesive assemblies failing, and gaskets coming apart. On an IPX8 rated watch these things are triple checked, with units coming off the assembly line to check specifically for this. Apple didn't chose to make this a priority, and rated it as such. Besides I could never imagine a dive watch held together by glue, which is one of the things being discussed here.
     
  22. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #23
    I think you misread his post. He actually implied that slapping on a case would improve resistance against sweat and rainy days.
     
  23. BarracksSi thread starter macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #24
    Taking it a little further:

    Let's say that Apple modifies the construction so it becomes, oh, 50m/5 bar water resistant.

    Now put yourself in Apple's shoes -- specifically, in charge of writing ad copy for the Watch.

    You know that it's now essentially waterproof (and it's even surf-proof). You know it won't have any problems at the sauna or while snorkeling.

    But you also know that the touchscreen still doesn't work right when it's wet.

    What do you write?
     
  24. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    Nov 7, 2007
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    New Sanfrakota
    #25
    They may still say "submerging is not recommended" in order to curtail complaints from customers who don't know any better that the touchscreen doesn't work when wet.
     

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