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Nokia’s Morph points to mobile’s flexible future

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The future of mobile devices is stretchable and flexible, going by a new nanotechnology concept called Morph, unveiled yesterday. Developed by Nokia Research Centre and the University of Cambridge, it was launched alongside the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Read on for more information and images …

The “Design and the Elastic Mind”” exhibition running at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York from 24 February to 12 May 2008 points the way to the future with a new concept called Morph.

Morph 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.

“”Nokia Research Center is looking at ways to reinvent the form and function of mobile devices,‚ said Dr. Bob Iannucci, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia. ‚The Morph concept shows what might be possible.””

Dr. Tapani Ryhanen, Head of the NRC Cambridge UK laboratory, Nokia, added: “”We hope that this combination of art and science will showcase the potential of nanoscience to a wider audience. The research we are carrying out is fundamental to this as we seek a safe and controlled way to develop and use new materials.””

Yes, it’s a cellular phone

The partnership between Nokia and the University of Cambridge was announced in March 2007. It was an agreement to work together on an extensive and long term programme of joint research projects. NRC has established a research facility at the University’s West Cambridge site and collaborates with several departments – initially the Nanoscience Center and Electrical Division of the Engineering Department – on projects that, to begin with, are centered on nanotechnology.

“”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,”” said Professor Mark Welland, Head of the Department of Engineering’s Nanoscience Group at the University of Cambridge and University Director of Nokia-Cambridge collaboration.

Elements of Morph might be available to integrate into handheld devices within 7 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.

For further information, visit the MoMA web site.

About Nokia Research Center

Nokia Research Center (NRC) looks beyond Nokia’s existing business and product development to challenge current strategies and to stimulate renewal in the company’s direction. Working closely with all Nokia business units, NRC’s research explores new frontiers in digital services, physical-digital connections, human interaction, data and content technologies, device architecture, and access and connectivity. NRC promotes open innovation by working on research projects in collaboration with universities and research institutes around the world. For more information, see its web site.

About the University of Cambridge Nanoscience Centre

The University of Cambridge will celebrate its 800th anniversary in 2009. The Nanoscience Centre is an 1800 square meter research facility completed in January 2003 and located at the north east corner of the University’s West Cambridge Site. The Centre provides open access to over 300 researchers from a variety of University Departments to the nanofabrication and characterisation facilities housed in a combination of Clean Rooms and low noise laboratories. Visit its web site for more information.

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