Because of their proximity to our bodies and their constant exposure to the outside world, smartwatches tend to risk getting wet, by accident or on purpose more than our smartphones. They are, thus, designed to be more rugged but, just like smartphones, they also do need some openings, for speakers, for example, without room for more conventional water-proofing methods. Apple’s solution for its Apple Watch has always been to eject the water out of those holes. Someone has finally thought of filming that process in extreme slow motion to reveal just how well-thought the system is.
Unless you have purposely stayed away from any Apple Watch trivia, this water ejection system is actually old news since the Apple Watch Series 2 in 2016. In a nutshell, once the smartwatch detects water ingress, it asks the user to spin the crown knob which then causes the speakers to vibrate repeatedly at intervals to push the water out. It’s amusing to see in practice but even more beautiful when viewed in slow-mo.
Filming at 2,000 fps, the Slow Mo Guys (or Guy in this case), showed both the movement of the speakers and peculiar behavior of water droplets being pushed out using invisible sound waves. Since some water droplets necessarily get sucked in back into the watch by the vibrations, the speakers stop for a while to let the liquid accumulate before vibrating again to push the water out. Rinse and repeat, not literally of course.
The system also has some rather interesting nuances that were only observable in slow motion. The way the water droplets form at the edges of the speaker holes, for example, works to gather and trap exiting droplets to prevent them from going back in. Water ejection even works underwater, ironically, revealing bubbles that vibrate to the beat of the speakers.
Like many things viewed in slow-mo, the process is more spectacular and more beautiful to behold compared to the rather mundane and almost comical way the Apple Watch would normally boot water out. It also gives a glimpse of the genius behind the design even in the literal small and minuscule parts, something that Apple is renowned for.