Nokia morphs itself from within

Mobile phones offer a bridge between the physical and the digital world. I was shown technology that is able to understand the decipher the real world and augment it with data from the digital world.

What a decade ago required a backpack full of equipment can be done today using just a phone.

Dr Kari Pulli and his team at Palo Alto demonstrated software which can pull information from the web about a location, such as a building, just by taking a photograph of it.

It works by utilising the GPS in a phone so the software knows where the picture was taken and can then fetch relevant information about that location, rather then having to trawl through the entire web.

The software s the photograph’s properties and then matches it to likely subjects in the database.

In the UK Nokia has partnered with Cambridge University and is focusing on the application of nanosciences to the mobile phone market, and has partnered with Professor Mark Welland, one of the world’s leading nano experts.

Morph is a future concept phone based on nanosciences.

Morph is a concept looking at the potential applications of nanosciences in future handsets. From nanowires that can sense the chemical properties of compounds in the air to nanowire grass that can turn the sun’s rays into electrical power, and nanoelectronics with greater computing power than today’s fastest computers, Morph is a beguiling vision.

Dr Rhyanen: “My rule of thumb is that if something is still at the level of idea it takes a minimum of 11 year, but if something is already tangible and we already have done demonstrations in the lab, then it’s a minimum of seven years.

“Many of these technologies are already concrete.”

Dr Rhyanen predicted that materials needed to build Morph – functional materials that can be used for different types of surfaces, both flexible and tough, and able to change its outward appearance – would emerge first from the range of nanosciences currently in development.

“Nanoelectronics is further in the future,” he said.

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