Most people have had touch screen devices, including many of the leading rugged phones, act weird when they’re wet or in the rain. The water on your fingers can make the screen think you’re touching it when you’re not, or it can cause the screen to ignore your touches entirely. And falling rain droplets can also mess up the screen, making it think you’re pressing buttons you didn’t mean to. OnePlus is trying to make it possible to use your phone in the rain without having to worry about the screen going bonkers.
The upcoming OnePlus Ace 2 Pro, in particular, is touted to be capable of responding to touch input with full accuracy even in the rain. This is thanks to its “Rain Water Touch” technology, and OnePlus shared a video on Weibo to show off this feature (via Gizmochina).
OnePlus put the Ace 2 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro to the test to see how well they could handle touch input in wet conditions. The Ace 2 Pro worked perfectly, even when it was raining or being sprayed with water. The iPhone 14 Pro, on the other hand, struggled to register touch input in similar settings.
The new feature is designed to detect your finger movements even when your hands are wet. This means you can still use your phone to text or make calls even if you’re caught in a downpour. To make this possible, OnePlus has squeezed a custom chipset into the device along with three new core touch algorithms for the screen.
Capacitive touch displays are like magic. They can sense when you touch them by using electricity. When you touch the screen, your finger conducts electricity and changes the flow of electrical fields in the screen. The device then interprets these changes to determine where on the screen you touched it.
The problem is that water can also conduct electricity. So, if your screen is wet, the water can also complete the circuit and register a touch.
OnePlus is expected to drop the Ace 2 Pro in China later this month, though it is likely to have a different name for international markets. And while this new touchscreen tech is making its debut with the upcoming budget Android phone, it’s a safe bet that it’ll also crawl into future flagship OnePlus phones.