Nokia Research Centre (NRC) and Cambridge University have unveiled a concept phone they say shows the potential benefits of nanotechnology.
Morph, as the device is called, was launched on Monday at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of an exhibition entitled "Design and the Elastic Mind".
Morph demonstrates flexible materials, transparent electronics and self-cleaning surfaces -- all features made possible in a handheld device through the use of nanotechnology.
This picture shows Morph in its standard mobile-phone mode. The device can also assume other guises, such as that of a music player or wristwatch (see next picture).
According to Dr Tapani Ryhanen, Nokia's lead at the NRC Cambridge UK laboratory, Morph's creators "hope that this combination of art and science will showcase the potential of nanoscience to a wider audience".
"The research we are carrying out is fundamental to this as we seek a safe and controlled way to develop and use new materials," Ryhanen added.
NRC established a research centre at the University's West Cambridge site last year, collaborating with departments such as the Nanoscience Centre and the electrical division of the engineering department.
Nokia and the university hope that "elements of Morph" will start to become integrated into high-end handheld devices within the next seven years, but they suggest nanotechnology could eventually lower manufacturing costs.