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Video: Your unwanted electronics may soon self-destruct

Published Apr 10th, 2014 10:21AM EDT
Transient Electronics Dissolve After Use

If you are in possession of any old cell phones, you know how difficult it can be to find a proper way to dispose of them. Certain electronics retailers will accept donated devices, a family member might need a loaner and it never hurts to have a spare, but once a phone, or any other electronic device for that matter, has reached the end of its life, it could end up sitting in a dump for decades without any signs of decomposition.

Iowa State’s Reza Montazami wants to change that. According to a recent news post, a team of researchers at Iowa State is developing a technology known as “transient electronics,” materials that are “designed to quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated.”

Electronic devices made from specially designed degradable polymer composite materials would dissipate at a moment’s notice, eliminating unnecessary waste and protecting valuable data from thieves.

“Investigation of electronic devices based on transient materials (transient electronics) is a new and rarely addressed technology with paramount potentials in both medical and military applications,” the researchers wrote in a paper describing their work, which can be viewed here.

If detailed studies aren’t your thing, there’s also a video from Des Moines’ KCCI news station that shows some electronics dissolving. Check it out:

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.