The "Nanotechnology Phone" of the Future

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Some of you may remember the light-hearted HP commercials back in 2003 heralding the day that nanotechnology will â''make possible cell phones so small that an ant could use itâ''.

HP was clearly joking but Nokia and Cambridge University are not. They are developing a flexible phone enabled by nanotechnology that could be available in seven years.

The Stuff article linked above continues the tried-and-true practice of mainstream media offering another misguided definition of nanotechnology: â''nanotechnology â'' technology built and assembled at the level of individual atoms.â'' Sighâ'¿

Anyway, aside from quibbling over definitions, Nokia has dubbed the phone â''Morphâ'', and its key attribute will be that itâ''s flexibleâ'¿not that itâ''s really, really small.

This technology builds on the work Professor Mark Welland and his team at Cambridge has been working on for some time: flexible electronics.

For those of you out there who have decided to see if you can hold your breath for seven years until you can get the next big thing in cell phones since the iPhone, well you may want to reconsider. According to Euan Boyd, who is quoted in the article, 20 years seems more like a fair estimation of how long it will take to develop this phone.

Whether itâ''s seven or twenty, I am not sure what the advantage may be in having a flexible phone. The inflexible one I have seems to work fineâ'¿it just runs down the battery far too quickly.

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