The Future of Nanotechnology in the Mobile Phone

I have had a fair amount of fun in the past at the expense of Nokia and Cambridge University ever since they announced in 2008 their much reported on Morph phone, which displayed the work that the two organizations were doing jointly in applying plastic electronics to mobile phones.

As I stated at the time and since then, I haven’t much interest, and I am not sure why anyone else would, in a phone that can wrap around my wrist, when what I really want is a phone with much improved battery technology.

So I was encouraged when I saw that Nokia researchers had published an entire book  on the topic of how nanotechnology could be applied to the mobile phone. Certainly in an entire book there would likely be discussion on how mobile phone batteries are being improved by nanotechnology.

The book entitled “Nanotechnologies for Future Mobile Devices” (excerpts can be read here) is supposed to detail the work that is going on at the Nokia Research Center (NRC) at Cambridge University. One of the fields of research that is detailed is battery capabilities. I don’t know what that research is since it is neither discussed in the article or in the available excerpts, but I am hoping it’s significant.

I know the “gee whiz” factor of a Dick-Tracy-like wrap around phone is high, but I still contend that a battery that could work  on any kind of smart phone for a month or a week would really get a lot of “gee whiz” press too.




IEEE Spectrum’s nanotechnology blog, featuring news and analysis about the development, applications, and future of science and technology at the nanoscale.

Dexter Johnson
Madrid, Spain
Rachel Courtland
Associate Editor, IEEE Spectrum
New York, NY