One of the plasma injection chambers at P2i used for coating devices in the Ion-Mask layer.
A product originally developed for the military (isn't it always those guys who get the coolest toys?) may help protect mobile devices from the inclemency of British weather. The tech, currently working under the absolutely awesome name of Ion-Mask, allows things like mobile 'phones to be used under water.
Developed at P2i
, part of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory in Porton Down, the Ion-Mask technology originally came about as part of research into creating protective NBC-proof (Nuclear and Biological Contaminants) clothing for soldiers. The Ion-Mask layer is bonded to the material (or MP3 player) via plasma injection, and the company claims it alters the surface at a 'molecular level' to repel oil and water.
The technology is apparently good enough to allow a treated mobile 'phone to be used while underwater, although how you'd make yourself understood whilst drowning isn't mentioned.
Ion-Mask certainly shows promise, providing the cost of treating devices isn't too high. We've all worried about our precious electronic companions when we're caught in a downpour, although I can usually bear to be parted from mine long enough to take a quick dip in the pool.
The company has not yet announced partnerships with any manufacturers, and the only place you can get your device treated with the tech is at their home base in Wiltshire; it looks like we might be waiting a while before we see this technology used on a commercial level.
Fancy making the trip just to ensure your iPod will keep working after a dip in the sea, or are you happy leaving your devices at home when the weather turns foul? Let us know via the forums