12-inch MacBook Apple Retina and 2014 MacBook Pro to Feature Liquid Sensors, Release in October

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By Precious Silva | July 28, 2014 2:50 PM EST

Apple's hardware cycle not only covers the iPhone 6 but also its existing products like iMacs and MacBooks. According to a recent patent sighting, Apple may be looking into incorporating new liquid sensors to its upcoming line of computers. The technology will introduce a failsafe mechanism that will allow the device to avoid electrical shorts despite liquid contact. Can Apple work on incorporating the technology in time for the October release? 

Reuters
Apple CEO Tim Cook departs the stage following his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, June 2, 2014.

Ming Chi Kuo of KGI Securities noted previously that Apple may be planning on introducing several variants of the MacBook. Aside from the usual MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines, the market has been buzzing about a 12-inch computer. The 12-inch version will combine the functionalities and conveniences of the 11 and 13-inch models giving consumers a fresh option. 

According to the patent released by the US Patent & Trademark Office, Apple has been working on a technology that will minimize or avoid damages to its devices despite contact with liquid. The patent is entitled "Liquid Activated Failsafe for Portable Computing Devices." When people use portable computing devices, the unit is most likely at risk of damage especially with spilled liquid. It is easy for spilled liquid to access the device's interior thus the new fail-safe mechanism. Patently Apple noted some of the parts at risk such as processors, circuit boards, drives and other electronic units. 

A good way to prevent short circuits is to block openings leading to internal parts. Nonetheless, sealing off I/O ports or building structures to direct spilled liquid elsewhere can be ineffective when in contact with much more considerable amount of liquid. To address this, Apple came up with a new Liquid Sensor System. This allows the device to respond to liquid risks in time. The sensor system is connected to a controller which can signal the device to electronically decouple specific components from the power supply. The sensor will have a particular moisture threshold to gauge the amount of liquid and threat. 

Another embodiment shows the device automatically saving data and controlling shutdown depending on the moisture threshold. Similar to other patents, this may or may not find its way to the upcoming cycle.  Apple is expected to release its new Mac line this October along with the OS X Yosemite. 

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(Photo: Reuters / Robert Galbraith)
Apple CEO Tim Cook departs the stage following his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, June 2, 2014.
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