Economy, Sci & Tech

Washable Smartphone Debuts

Washable Smartphone DebutsWashable Smartphone Debuts

A Japanese firm says it has produced the world’s first smartphone that can be washed with soap and water. Waterproof smartphones have been on the market for a while. But telecom company KDDI says its new “Digno rafre” phone—to be launched in Japan next week—is the only one that can withstand a soapy bath. “Our development team washed the smartphone more than 700 times to test its durability,” a company spokesman told AFP. An online commercial aimed at proving its credentials features a child dropping the phone onto a plate of food topped with ketchup. His mother assures her shocked family that those red globs are nothing to worry about as she soaps up the phone under a running tap. The 21,600 yen ($175) gadget is mainly aimed at parents who want to keep their smartphones clean for their small children, a KDDI spokesman said. But he also cautioned that only certain types of foamy soap could be used on the device, which will only be sold in Japan for now.