Future Tech Might Allow Smartphones to Upgrade Themselves
Getting tired of upgrading your smartphone every year? Ever wish you could keep the same phone, and just have its innards upgraded to the newest configuration?
Such technology might one day be possible, according to new research from Northwestern University.
Bartosz Grzybowski, a professor at Northwestern, said he and his team have potentially developed the first material that has the ability to change itself depending on the need. Using nanotechnology, this material can redirect a device's internal circuitry on command.
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Grzybowski and his team say that this new nanomaterial can essentially rewire a device component to become a transistor, resistor or whatever type of electronic part the user needs at the moment. This could eventually lead to smartphones or computers that can rewire themselves on the fly to enable new functions.
There is one computer in existence that can rewire itself, and that's the human brain, Grzybowski told InnovationNewsDaily. Why we can learn is precisely because of this. We can rewire and we can change connections. This is how memories are formed. Re-wiring is the key thing in learning. I would like to see materials that can learn.
The idea is for the nanomaterial, which is in the early stages of development by the team, changes a device's function once an electrical signal is applied. The potential applications for the new material go are far-reaching and go beyond just self-upgrading smartphones, Grzybowski said.
I would love somebody to take this in the context of artificial intelligence, he said. I would like to see a material that, when it has an impulse, it rewires itself in such a way to become optimal, a little bit like the brain. I would like to see materials that can learn.
Many details must still be worked out, so you won't be seeing an iPhone that can upgrade itself anytime soon at your local carrier store.
We're talking a lot of nitty-gritty details that need to be addressed, he said. But imagine you have just one integrated circuit that could rewire. This by itself would be quite revolutionary.