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Chinese Military Developed Tech to Fight Your Acidic Sweat

first_imgStay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend Apparently roughly three out of every 100 people produce a little more sweat than the rest of us. While a bit embarrassing, it’s not really a huge problem for a lot of folks. However, Anker, manufacturer of all kinds of everyday electronics — have noticed that these heavy sweaters have to return quite a few products because they’re secretions cause circuits to short and tech to die a bit early. That wouldn’t be too unusual on its own — manufacturers look for ways to beef up its products all the time. But Anker has taken an unusual approach to solve the issue — reverse-engineering Chinese submarine tech and adapting it to the company’s consumer-grade gear.“Some customers have to buy a sport headset three times, even four times a year because they’re heavy sweaters,” Rock Gao, Anker’s product manager told sister site PCMag. “Typically, for this form factor, the return rate is around five percent. At least three percent will be dead by human sweat.”Sweat, unlike plain ol’ water, is really salty and packed with all kinds of chemicals and secretions from… well, our gross-ass bodies. Salt, in particular, is dangerous because it can develop conductive crusts on the surface of circuits. These cause shorts and lead to rapid failure of all but the sturdiest tech. “All the products out there claim they have nanocoatings, but they pretty much do not work,” Gao said.When looking for a solution to that problem, Gao opted to look at the most advanced tech in the world: weapons. For his inspiration, he looked to submarines, as they are highly advanced machines that have to be able to cope not just with water on the outside, but potential leaks. These machines have many redundancies (at least these days) for crew safety. So, Gao compartmentalized the circuity in a headset, then sealed them with a specialized glue derived from submarine building materials. “There are some design centers in China that figure out coating materials to make ships run faster and more smoothly,” he said. And all that, he claims, has led to headsets that can hold up for almost two days submerged in sweat or sea water and be completely fine. “We believe we’ve solved the last problem for this kind of form factor before it’s replaced totally by true wireless,” Gao said, noting that Anker’s Spirit headsets, the first to introduce this new process, still rely on a cable to connect the two buds. The Spirit line of earbuds includes three models that all run for under $50. We can’t speak to the quality beyond their noted sweat-resistance, but we’ve also rarely been disappointed with Anker in general. As one of the companies behind higher-end battery banks and the like, the company has a solid reputation. And, full disclosure, this author loves their Anker battery banks. And hopes this tech gets adapted to make some sturdier all-around gear soon. *cough cough*Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img