Apple is trying to find a workaround to make iPhones and iPads work flawlessly under the rain. Most of the phones carry IP Rating these days making them water resistant, but you cannot use phones in damp conditions because water droplets on screen and wet hands cause erroneous inputs.
As raindrops fall on the screen, touch inputs are misjudged by the screen, and it leads to recording unwanted selections. The capacitive touchscreen used in smartphones these days works by detecting the changes in the flow of electricity in the display, and since water can alter electrical fields, the touchscreen records water droplets as the touches made by the users.
Apple has filed two patents titled “Finger Tracking In Wet Environment” that tries to combat the issue by filtering the touches to recognize whether the touch has been intended by the user or not.
The patent reads, “Filtering out unintended touches classified as non-touch patches can reduce processing requirements and save power. Additionally, classifying input patches can improve touch performance in wet environments. In some examples, input patches can be classified as touch patches or non-touch patches based on characteristics of edge touch nodes.”
As per the example given by Apple in the patent, a grid of touch nodes will be implemented in the display that will collect data for processing.
An algorithm will determine from the collected data to determine the characteristics of the touch to detect whether the touch has been intended by a human being or by an element that is beyond human control like raindrops.
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However, this is just a patent and we cannot say that the technology will make way into the future iPhones and iPads. Apple files multiple patents on a regular basis but not all the technologies enter the real world. But, if Apple manages to provide this feature in iPhones and iPads then it would be delightful and a huge breakthrough in touchscreen technology.