Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,684,656) for “intelligent vents for electronic devices” that would make the iPhone and Apple Watch even more waterproof.
In the patent data, Apple notes that electronic devices are often provided with housings having openings that allow airflow into the housing. The airflow can be used for temperature control and/or pressure measurements within the housing. However, challenges can arise when providing housing openings, particularly for portable electronic device that can be carried among different locations and environments. Apple’s solution: an iPhone/Apple Watch cover with an internal cavity and a sensor that detects and expels water.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “Aspects of the subject technology relate to electronic devices with intelligent barometric vents. An intelligent barometric vent may provide a moisture-resistant opening between an environment external to a housing of the device and an internal cavity within the housing.
“The moisture-resistant opening may include a moisture-resistant cover over the opening, the cover having a cover-integrated sensor to detect occlusions of the opening. The device may also include occlusion mitigation components within the housing that operate, responsive to a detected occlusion, to at least partially remove the occlusion.”