Sunday February 12, 2017

Self-Destructing Phones Now a Reality

Maybe my imagination is broken this morning, but is there any real application for this other than pretending you’re in a spy film? Making things combust remotely must be pretty neat, but why not just wipe the data? Or, you can just do it the old-fashioned way, like smash the hell out of it. Also, in before any Samsung battery joke.

The self-destruct mechanism has been created by electrical engineers at the King Abdulla University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and consists of a polymer layer that rapidly expands when subjected to temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius, effectively bursting the phone open from the inside. The mechanism can be adapted to be triggered in various ways, including remotely through a smartphone app or when it's subjected to pressure. Once triggered, power from the device's battery is directed to electrodes that rapidly heat, causing the polymer layer to expand to around seven times its original size within 10-15 seconds. This crushes the vital components inside the device, destroying any information stored on board.