New Nokia takes the mobile phone in a new direction

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Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, has launched Morph – a joint nanotechnology concept developed by Nokia Research Centre (NRC) and the University of Cambridge – at the “Design and the Elastic Mind” exhibition in New York.


Morph is a concept phone that demonstrates how future mobile devices might be stretchable and flexible, allowing the user to transform their mobile device into radically different shapes. It demonstrates the ultimate functionality that nanotechnology might be capable of delivering: flexible materials, transparent electronics and self-cleaning surfaces. 

Dr Tapani Ryhanen, Head of the NRC Cambridge UK laboratory, said: “We hope this combination of art and science will showcase the potential of nanoscience to a wider audience.

“The techniques we are developing might one day mean new possibilities in terms of the design and function of mobile devices. The research we are carrying out is fundamental to this as we seek a safe and controlled way to develop and use new materials.”

Professor Mark Welland, Head of the Department of Engineering’s Nanoscience Group at the University of Cambridge and University Director of Nokia-Cambridge collaboration added: “Developing the Morph concept with Nokia has provided us with a focus that is both artistically inspirational but, more importantly, sets the technology agenda for our joint nanoscience research that will stimulate our future work together.”

The partnership between Nokia and the University of Cambridge was announced in March last year with an agreement to work together on an extensive and long-term programme of joint research projects.

Nokia Research Centre has established a research facility at the University’s West Cambridge site and collaborates with several departments – initially the Nanoscience Centre and Electrical Division of the Engineering Department – on projects that, to begin with, are centered exclusively on nanotechnology.

Elements of Morph might be available to integrate into handheld devices within seven years, though initially only at the high end.
 
However, nanotechnology may one day lead to low-cost manufacturing solutions, and offers the possibility of integrating complex functionality at a low price.
 
 
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