Last spring, when I noted that Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) was partnering with Cambridge University in a $60 million nanotechnology initiative, I wondered whether the collaboration would lead to anything as cool as what Q -- the fictional tech wizard in James Bond movies -- could concoct.
Well, the answer is in, and it is "yes." Yesterday, Nokia officials unveiled "Morph" -- a stretchable and flexible mobile phone -- at the Design and Elastic Mind exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is only a concept product so far, but it hints at where the future of mobile devices might be headed.
For example, if electronics can be stretched, we might soon see an array of innovative products. You can watch a movie on an iPod, but what if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) designed a product that allows a user to stretch the screen and put the movie in a size more suitable to the eyes? Or what if Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN ) could redesign its e-book, Kindle, so it could roll up into your pocket?
This is where some of these technologies are headed. This is good news for Nokia and its investors; if the company can develop this technology first, it will design a line of cutting-edge phones and move aggressively into a host of product areas -- and that's the kind of flexibility that would stretch Nokia's profits in the near future.