Kyocera Debuts a Washable Smartphone in Japan

Kyocera debuts a washable smartphone.

ByABC News
December 3, 2015, 11:17 AM

— -- Germaphobes take note: Kyocera has debuted a new smartphone that can be washed with foam soap and water.

Geared toward people who may use their devices in dirty situations (camping, in the bathroom), the Digno Rafre smartphone can be scrubbed with foam soap thanks to tighter sealing on the device that protects the internal hardware.

While there have been several waterproof smartphones on the market, the Digno Rafre is believed to be the first that can withstand being washed with both soap and water and then gently dried with a cloth. As of now, the phone will only be sold in Japan. It's unknown if Kyocera has plans to bring the device to the U.S. market.

In a promotional video posted to Youtube, a Japanese boy tries to photograph his dinner and accidentally covers the phone in sauce when he leans too close to his dinner plate.

His mom comes to the rescue, taking the phone, lathering it with foam soap and gently rinsing it under the kitchen faucet before drying it and returning it to her son.

The phone, which has a 5-inch display, is available through mobile carrier KDDI beginning next week for about $460. It comes in three colors a user can keep sparkling clean: white, pink and navy.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in June his company was considering developing a bacteria-free smartphone geared toward doctors and nurses.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said BlackBerry's bacteria-free smartphone would be "thoughtful and welcome” but it’s "not as though it’s a great revolution."

"To put it in perspective, smartphones are not a major source of hand contamination and a source of infection," he told ABC News in June. "But every little thing helps."