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The Future Of Phones Lies In Nature’s Hands

4 May 20

We all know that cell phones are constantly improving, but did you ever think it would be bugs that inspire these changes? Yes, you read that correctly. Researchers are using biomimicry to create nature-inspired solutions for the evolution of smartphones.

Batteries Running On Sugar

Sugar is a natural energy source found in nature and, as you may know, insects stock up on energy from glucose. Similarly, Virginia Tech researchers built a battery that converts glucose into electricity by using synthetic fuel. Not to mention, this battery specially built for portable devices holds 10 times more the energy than a standard lithium-ion battery would.

Wide-Angle Camera

The hemispherical shape of insects’ eyes allows them to have extremely wide-angle views. Insects, such as fire ants and bark beetles, have compound eyes consisting of nearly 200 optical units, which gives them not only a wide-angle view but also a large depth of field. Inspired by these bugs, researchers have created a tiny hemispherical camera with 180 microlenses, each of them capturing different perspectives. This results in a camera holding a 160-degree frame, which is more than double the iPhone X.

Bug-Inspired Plastic Body

Harvard’s Wyss Institute has developed a new biodegradable material called Shrilk. It was created from the same material that is found in shrimp shells and gives butterfly wings their flexibility. This bug-inspired plastic is not only environmentally-friendly but is also just as tough as aluminium yet 2 times lighter!

Anti-Glare Screen

You know how when the sunlight hits your phone and you could barely see anything? Well, this may change soon because researchers have developed a special coating for mobile screens that is inspired by moths. The insects have a special film coated on their eyeballs, which dulls their sheen at night thus helping them hunt. A similar film has been developed for mobile devices to minimize the glare from sunlight.

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