Our phones and tablets are electronic devices which means that there are some instances where we need to be careful about how we handle them. In a post on Reddit by user harritaco, they share an interesting story of how during the installation of an MRI machine at their workplace, an accident occurred when resulted in nearby iOS devices being disabled.
“After going out there we discovered that this issue only impacted iOS devices. iPads, iPhones, and Apple Watches were all completely disabled (or destroyed?). Every one of our assets was completely fine. It doesn’t surprise me that a massive, powerful, super-conducting electromagnet is capable of doing this. What surprises me is that it is only effecting Apple products. Right now we have about 40 users impacted by this, all of which will be getting shiny new devices tonight.”
Initial speculation was that the machine could have emitted an EMP, but then they realized that it couldn’t have been the case as it only appeared that iOS devices were affected and that other assets were fine. GE, who makes the machine, claims it could have been due to a helium leak (helium is used to help cool super-conducting magnets), which was later confirmed when it was revealed that about 120 liters of liquid helium was leaked over the course of 5 hours.
It is an interesting anecdote as some of us might have never thought that helium, which most people would probably associate with balloons, could negatively impact some of our electronic devices.