The Media Guru

Feb 27, 2008


Nokia Morph Concept

The Morph Concept
Featured in The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind” exhibition, the Morph concept device is a bridge between highly advanced technologies and their potential benefits to end-users. This device concept showcases some revolutionary leaps being explored by Nokia Research Centre (NRC) in collaboration with the Cambridge Nanoscience Centre (United Kingdom) – nanoscale technologies that will potentially create a world of radically different devices that open up an entirely new spectrum of possibilities.

Nokia Morph ConceptMorph concept technologies might create fantastic opportunities for mobile devices:
- Newly-enabled flexible and transparent materials blend more seamlessly with the way we live
- Devices become self-cleaning and self-preserving
- Transparent electronics offering an entirely new aesthetic dimension
- Built-in solar absorption might charge a device, whilst batteries become smaller, longer lasting and faster to charge
- Integrated sensors might allow us to learn more about the environment around us, empowering us to make better choices

In addition to the advances above, the integrated electronics shown in the Morph concept could cost less and include more functionality in a much smaller space, even as interfaces are simplified and usability is enhanced. All of these new capabilities will
unleash new applications and services that will allow us to communicate and interact in unprecedented ways.

Nokia Morph ConceptFlexible & Changing Design
Nanotechnology enables materials and components that are flexible, stretchable, transparent and remarkably strong. Fibril proteins are woven into a three dimensional mesh that reinforces thin elastic structures. Using the same principle behind spider silk, this elasticity enables the device to literally change shapes and configure itself to adapt to the task at hand. A folded design would fit easily in a pocket and could lend itself ergonomically to being used as a traditional handset. An unfolded larger design could display more detailed information, and incorporate input devices such as keyboards and touch pads.
Even integrated electronics, from interconnects to sensors, could share these flexible properties. Further, utilization of biodegradable materials might make production and recycling of devices easier and ecologically friendly.

Nokia Morph ConceptSelf-Cleaning
Nanotechnology also can be leveraged to create self-cleaning surfaces on mobile devices, ultimately reducing corrosion, wear and improving longevity. Nanostructured surfaces, such as “Nanoflowers” naturally repel water, dirt, and even fingerprints utilizing effects also seen in natural systems.

Nokia Morph ConceptAdvanced Power Sources
Nanotechnology holds out the possibility that the surface of a device will become a natural source of energy via a covering of “Nanograss” structures that harvest solar power. At the same time new high energy density storage materials allow batteries to become smaller and thinner, while also quicker to recharge and able to endure more charging cycles.

Nokia Morph ConceptSensing The Environment
Nanosensors would empower users to examine the environment around them in completely new ways, from analyzing air pollution, to gaining insight into bio-chemical traces and processes. New capabilities might be as complex as helping us monitor evolving conditions in the quality of our surroundings, or as simple as knowing if the fruit we are about to enjoy should be washed before we eat it. Our ability to tune into our environment in these ways can help us make key decisions that guide our daily actions and ultimately can enhance our health.
[via Nokia]
The demo video:

Before reading any further, I would definitely recommend you to WATCH THE VIDEO! Nothing’s better than a good old video to convey what Morph can do…

Stunned!?! Well, not exactly, since it’s not a real demo of what Morph can do, but rather a preview of what the Morph “nanodevice” (think supercar) can perform. What’s more interesting is that most the technologies demoed ALREADY exist. The self-cleaning & hydrophobic material is currently being implemented in newer cars & building facades. The super-stiff nanotubes of carbon already exist & so do those ultra-flexible nanomaterials. Prototype nanosensors can “sense” an immensely large array of things, but it’s still in the lab. As for the “nanograss,” I have yet to see it surface, but it’s not more than a couple years away - but if it did, it would be next GREEN REVOLUTION!!! (imagine everything being powered by those nanograsses that are omnipresent on every surface!)

Where the concept blends into fiction is with the electronics! For the time being, we still can’t make “nanoelectronics.” Nor can we make them stretchable, stiff or imbue them with morphing abilities. Can you imagine shrinking your battery, antenna, screen or keypad to an infinitely small size. But I trust technology - that should be possible in less than 2 decades (I give it a maximum of 50 years!).

Nanotechnology is the future! Just like the Integrated Circuit completely lifted up our civilization into another era, nanotechnology will be the dawn of a world of infinite opportunity - finally living with harmony with planet Earth?

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Bandit said...

the Morph concept seems to tap into some of the technology that is already present in nature

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