What will mobile phones be made of in 2020?

Bioplastics and sweetocrn mobile phones of the future

Just what will the mobiles be made of in 2020?  Could be anybody’s guess, the mobile phone is moving at such a pace, who knows.  Glass, carbon fiber, metal, plastic or maybe a new material we’ve never heard of? These are a few of the materials that we can think of, but what about the people that actually do this stuff for a living, make mobile phones for us to use?

When designing the gadgets of tomorrow; what materials do they have in mind?

“Whenever you design a new product, there are four areas you look at; Size, Eco, Performance, and Magic”, Claude Zellweger, creative director of industrial design agency One & Co.  “Bioplastics will probably be the buzzword in 2015”, claims Zellweger pointing to the use of materials made from organic, bio-degradable materials.

The Samsung Reclaim is made using bio-plastics it’s a trend that has already started.  In 2009, Samsung launched the Samsung Reclaim in the US.  An affordable smartphone, its biggest claim to fame is that the casing is made from Sweetcorn.  No, you can’t eat it when you’re in a tight spot, but it does mean that it will degrade when it heads to the landfill at the end of its life.  But our gadgets aren’t going to be made just out of foodstuff. 

Metal will still play a big part, using a single piece of machined metal giving the devices both structural strength and the ability to shed unnecessary casing elements.

Crack the age old battery issues and eventually, Zellweger believes, you could have a phone that’s as thick as a piece of paper made out of paper, sadly that’s not within the next 5 years.  Hinting that the throwaway culture will come to an end, Zellweger also believes that our gadgets of the future will be made with a more ecological footprint in mind, and for phones that means using materials that have greater durability, with inners that can be upgraded.

The term bioplastic can be applied to any plastic material that derives from renewable organic materials

It’s a logical step; with phones being able to get more memory or a faster processor rather than the need to completely replace the handset as the shift towards software continues to drive the industry.  Interacting with your phone, your camera or your internet tablet will, over the next 5 years, it could all change drastically as we go beyond touch and embrace the possibility of a shape-shifting future.