Kyocera Shows Off Washable Smartphone (for Japan)

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fear Not, Germophobes: This Kyocera Smartphone Is Soap and Water Friendly.

Do you ever think about the fact that you touch your smartphone all day long and set it on unfamiliar surfaces — and rarely do anything to clean it except to wipe it on your sleeve? Unless you’re rockin’ a pretty good case and screen protector—and you really should, unless you like having a smartphone with all sorts of dings and dents—then your smartphone is bound to get a little dirty from time to time. Smartphone manufacturer Kyocera has come up with a rather novel way to combat this issue and help smartphone owners keep their devices nice and clean.

A newly announced smartphone can stand up to a good ol’ fashioned scrub-a-dub-dub in soap and warm water — a welcome innovation, considering that the average smartphone harbors considerably more bacteria than a toilet in a public restroom. The Digno Rafre (we’re not sure what it means) is designed with an extra-tough glass front and “self-healing” back panel to minimize scratches, and the screen can even be used with wet hands — so you can answer texts while in the middle of a wash. The Kyocera-designed Digno Rafre has been designed for use with foaming soap — bar soap is off the table for this iteration — and water as hot as 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit). That means after a busy day out on the job site or camping over the weekend, you can lather up the device and give it a good cleaning just as you would your hands.

You can put it in the sink and scrub it like a dirty dish, which will allow you to rid your handheld device of visible gunk and grime, as well as invisible bacteria. Available in three colors, the shock-proof gadget comes fully equipped with a 5-inch LCD display, 13MP camera, 1.2GHz processor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, Mobile Wallet capabilities and 16GB of storage space. Unfortunately, this particular device is only available in Japan on carrier KDDI — but if the idea of having a phone in the bubble bath appeals to you, maybe you can have it imported. Those picking one up will want to stick to foam soaps instead of trying to rub a bar soap on the smartphone, as a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal.

It’ll run Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and have a 3,000 mAh battery, but we don’t know what that exactly translates to in regards to standby hours and active-use hours. All of the phones were found to have abnormally high levels of coliforms which is a bacteria indicating fecal contamination (thankfully, none showed signs of E.coli or staphylococci). Its touch screen should work even when the device is wet, however, and it’ll also come with one of Kyocera’s smart sonic receivers instead of an actual speaker. Donald Hendrickson, president of HML Labs and professor emeritus of medical microbiology at Ball State University, said the results suggest a lack of hand-washing and proper hygiene. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll just have to find other ways to decontaminate your device, as you won’t be able to get your hands on a Digno Rafre from your favorite mobile carrier.

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