As anticipation for the release of the new iPhone continues to gather pace, a new patent awarded to Apple last week strongly suggests the device may be completely waterproof.
The patent, reported by Quartz, outlines a system for color-balancing photos shot underwater. Therefore, we can only assume that if Apple is working on technology to make photos taken underwater come out looking good, then the company must also be ensuring that the phones themselves are waterproof.
The patent doesn’t divulge too much information regarding the mechanics of the devices that would be required to run the underwater photo software, but it does mention that it could “operate on mobile devices,” and specifically references Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
Apple doesn’t yet make any devices which are waterproof, but several third-party companies offer cases which claim to make the iPhone useable underwater without causing damage. It’s possible that Apple could be working on software that helps non-waterproof phones using these cases to take better photos underwater, but you would have to think it’s way more likely to be working on software like this for forthcoming phones that are actually waterproof.
There are also other indications that the company’s very next phone, the iPhone 7, will be waterproof. Rumors, leaks and reports have all but confirmed the device will not feature a standard headphone jack, a decision which has caused a few groans of disappointment from Apple fan boys and potential customers. However, the headphone jack is the easiest place for water to seep into a smartphone – so it would it make complete sense if the reason for removal is to make it waterproof.
There’s no guarantee that Apple is working on turning this patent into a working product, and the company has yet to comment on its plans. But one thing for sure is that, if it’s true, we all better get ready for millions upon millions of underwater holiday shots hitting Instagram real soon.