Touchscreens haven’t changed much in a while, and that’s because they’re largely quite good. One of the few remaining flaws, though, is that they don’t function quite right when wet, such as when you get caught in the rain. On one of its new devices, though, OnePlus is trying out a new screen that handles touch input when the device is wet.
On Weibo, OnePlus is showing off its upcoming Ace 2 Pro, a midrange smartphone equipped with this new touchscreen. “Rain Water Touch” allows the phone to accept touch input accurately when the screen is also being hit with water, as the video below shows. Most smartphones, such as the iPhone 14 Pro that OnePlus shows in the test, have trouble accurately handling touch when the screen is wet, sometimes ignoring touches entirely and, at other times, leaving them wildly inaccurate.
Why does this happen? Modern touchscreens rely on capacitive tech to detect your finger. This uses electrical conduction to detect when and where your finger hits the screen and does so incredibly quickly. But, when the screen is wet, that detection is impacted because water also conducts electricity. This new design OnePlus is using (presumably from Oppo) is powered by special touch algorithms and a custom chip inside to get around that.
The OnePlus Ace 2 Pro, which is debuting this technology, will launch in China soon, but we certainly hope that this touchscreen tech will make its way to future OnePlus devices sold in other markets in the future.