Innovation seems to be happening everywhere, and the smartphone industry is no exception. Still, when’s the last time the phone itself was innovative ? Meet Ikimobile: the Portuguese startup that built an Android phone with a cork case, a natural and 100% renewable material.
Ikimobile made a name for itself by ditching the plastic, metal and glass and replacing it with an organic material, locally-sourced of course.
And this is no accident. By going local, the company hopes to hoist Portugal into the limelight of technological and ecological innovation, , and to boost the country’s economy.
Ecologically speaking, cork is surprisingly green. It’s harvested every nine years, which allows the cork oaks to heal naturally and gracefully between harvests. And like glass, cork doesn’t deteriorate during re-processing, so it’s infinitely recyclable.
From a practical point of view, the layer of cork that covers the phone’s back provides thermal, acoustic, and anti-shock insulation. The company also claims that the material protects the users against battery radiation.
Ikimobile says its phone is the fruit years of research and testing at the Minho University, some of which is still ongoing. Currently, the engineers at UMinho are trying to make the smartphone even more sustainable.