DADE CITY — The Ray family knows well how smartphones fare when wet.
"The five kids and my wife have all at one point dropped their phones in water," said Shannon Ray, who owns a company called Advanced Telecom Systems with his wife, Teasi Ray.
"Typically, once water or whatever liquid hits it, (a smartphone is) completely ruined," Shannon Ray said.
Each time it has happened, the Rays have tried tricks intended to save a wet cellphone, such as putting it in rice.
"None of that worked," Ray said.
So after he learned about a system designed to prevent immersion in liquid from destroying a smartphone, he added it as a new service offered by Advanced Telecom: smartphone waterproofing.
Sixteen years ago, the Ray family opened the business in Vermillion, Ohio. They moved it to Pasco County in 2004. Each of the Rays' children, who range in age from 19 to 29, has worked for the business, which primarily installs cellular boosters and Wi-Fi systems in buildings and vehicles. Now it also can save your smartphone from spills, using nano technology.
"The technology is fascinating," Ray said. "We're able to take the liquid (called Nano X-1, which protects smartphones) and press it into a gas, which coats the inside and the outside of the cellphone."
To do it, Ray uses a machine called an Advanced Nano-Seal, which coats a phone eight times in less than five minutes.
But does it work?
"That's our biggest question," Ray said. "The answer is, 'Yes, it does.' "
The coating is scratch resistant and prevents damage done to smartphones by water, he said. But that does not mean somebody whose phone has been coated should dunk it in water.
"Don't just go scuba diving with it," Ray said.
If it gets wet, "immediately get it out of the water, dry it off, don't plug it in," he said.
When it dries, he said, the phone should work.
"We've got one that we've dipped (in liquid) 50 times now, and it still works," Ray said.
He hopes the service saves people money and trouble when they dunk their smartphones by mistake.
"If it gets wet, you'll have some peace of mind," he said.
Advanced Telecom Systems is at 37700 Meridian Ave., Dade City. For information or an appointment to have a smartphone waterproofed, call toll-free 1-866-704-1197 or visit boostpoorsignal.com.