Breakthrough technologies from Nokia Research bring a frozen dream to life
If you love Nokia phones – then you’ll love this. Today, Nokia announces plans to use a new material that could transform smartphone design. And not only does it look great, it reduces material costs and the environmental impact, too.
The Nokia Ice is made from ice. Yup, that’s frozen H2O.
A little over a year ago we bought you news of a touchscreen built entirely out of ice, created by the team at the NRC labs. Now, their hard work has paid off and they’ve taken it to the next level and built a non-commercial prototype phone.
We asked how something like this is even possible?
Nokia has its roots in Finland, a land full of ice and snow. Having tried to understand this material for centuries, we’ve finally managed to tame it. It’s a true triumph of man understanding nature.
Creating a phone like this means that everything that’s gone into building it has to be made from scratch: there’s no off-the-shelf parts here. While this made it difficult to make, it also meant that Nokia could really think outside the box.
Nokia dedicated much of the Tampere R&D unit to work on a solution for how to keep a phone made out of ice charged up. The solution was simple. They came up with a way of charging the Nokia Ice by placing it in a freezer. This unique technology uses a chemical energy transfer called an endothermic reaction, only it captures the cold instead of heat.
Clever, eh? Well, the technology gets even more astonishing.
Nokia’s superhydrophobic coating from the NRC labs in Cambridge will be used to make sure that the internal hardware remains intact and waterproof – even if the outside melts.
And there’s more nanotechnology at work: The screen inside the frozen exterior is made up of a combination of graphene and a stretchable electronic skin: something we witnessed at the Cambridge NRC back in 2010.
Nokia Ice has already created a buzz in the developer community, with the possibility of hundreds of intriguing new apps – and the team behind the prototype reveal that they have even been approached by ice sculpters keen to discuss adapting the design for their work:
At the moment, the phone is an oval shape, but we can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be sculpted in the future. Design and colour are always at the heart of what Nokia does. Nothing has been finalised, but we are thinking along the lines of a swan.
Due to the construction materials, the Nokia Ice can’t currently leave the labs for extended periods of time, but the project is part of Nokia’s long-term strategy to create a phone that uses cutting-edge science to connect the next billion users to mobile technology and the Internet, especially those in the Nordic region.
UPDATE: This post is not true. Happy April Fools’ Day, folks.