Going green, living tech

Because of the fast changing phase of mobile phone technology, forecasts announced that that about 1.3 billion cell phones sold this year can become waste material in a couple of years.

And obviously, we can’t handle that.

In its efforts of gearing towards our initiative to be eco-friendly, Samsung have already introduced mobile phones made out of corn.

Yes, you heard that right, corn.

Move over lead, mercury and cadmium, W510, F268 and E200 entirely uses bioplastics or materials extracted from corn.

This plan came after the successful campaign of handsets recycling in South Korea since 2004 and China since 2005.

Green phone

The first eco-friendly phone released in the market was said to contain a camera with flash and mobile TV capability.

The W510 slider has its external case and the battery’s case made of biodegradable plastic, based on corn starch.

For some tech experts, they see this first corn phone as a mid-end device. According to them, putting only basic features in the corn-based mobile phone is more of a test-case if the market will indeed support it.

And surely, they did.

Next in the roster of eco-friendly phones is Samsung F268. It is a tri-band GSM handset with a 2.1 inch TFT display or supports 262k colors and 240×360 pixels. It has a 2 megapixel camera with video and a media player (supporting MP3, AAC, WMA, MPEG4 and 3GP)

It boasts of a special alarm that would let users know when the battery of the phone is already full and should be plugged out.

It also has the conventional FM radio, Bluetooth 2.0 compatible, WAP browser, USB connector and supports microSD for memory expansion.

The latest of all corn-based mobile phones is the E200 Eco. Measuring up as 108 x 45 x 9.9 mm and weighing 95 grams, this eco phone has a similar corn-based case.

It has a 176 x 220 pixels large display, a 1.3 megapixel camera, 20 MB internal memory, a microSD slot and stereo Bluetooth support.

Samsung E200 Eco, was approved to contain no Brominated Flame Retardants and other toxic substance.

Other eco-friendly ventures

Samsung is not the only one in this campaign.

NEC and Fujitsu of Japana are also working to replace petroleum-based plastics in products such as laptop PCs and mobile phones into corn-based plastics.

The idea of using corn-based plastics has been around for years, and has been reignited in recent years by the high price of oil, experts said.

In the 1990s, companies started utilizing corn-based plastics in plastic bags, water bottles and diapers, but companies discontinued them in heavier products because the plastic was weak.

More recently, researchers have mixed corn-based plastics with petroleum-based plastics to create a stronger material suitable for laptops and handsets.

Now, who said technology can’t be eco-friendly?

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