Your Smartwatch Is not Waterproof

Fitbit, Apple, and many other companies offer products using IP67 or IP68 water and dust-proof ratings for their products, but what does that actually mean for your device?

Firstly, IP Stands for "Ingress Protection" referring to a devices ability to keep foreign materials out of the inside of the device. 

The "6" stands for the highest rating of solid matter ingress protection that is offered in this commonly used international standard while the "7" or "8" are related to the level of liquid ingress protection with 8 being the highest number achievable by this standard. 

IP67 signifies that device can withstand being underwater for 30 minutes straight at a depth of 1 meter while IP68 signifies the device can survive at 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

The ratings are a great widely used baseline standard, however, you will run into problems if you trust them too much. 

Soap, lotions, salt, chlorine, fast moving water, bug spray, hot water, and bug spray all deteriorate the ingress protection over time which means that the one time 30 minute soak used by these tests does not simulate real life wear and tear and makes it easier for devices to be certified to higher standards than they will be capable of holding.

This is bad news for wearable devices much more than even your phone as a smartwatch is going to get small amounts of soapy water on it every time you take a shower or even wash your hands. Not to mention the corrosive sweat it will be exposed to any time you are working out.

Cell phones are less susceptible to this sort of deterioration as you are not wearing them, however, the water proofing will still deteriorate over time. 

This is why we recommend that you wipe your watch down after each workout and don't use it in hot environments or in water that contains soap or chlorine. 

 

Next article A Few Reasons Why You Shouldn't Use Glue to Repair Your Electronics