Snail-shaped phones? It could happen thanks to biomimicry.

The San Diego Zoo just cut the ribbon on the Global Center for Bioinspiration, which will specialize in figuring out ways to bring nature-created ideas into our everyday lives. The concept of biomimicry has been around since the days of Da Vinci, who took a keen interest in birds because he wanted develop a flying machine. The BBC adds:

[Da Vinci’s] device never took off, but the Wright brothers did manage to build the first aeroplane in 1903 - after years of observing pigeons.
Probably one of the most notable nature-inspired technologies is the well-known hook-and-loop fastener, Velcro, which copies the tiny hooks on the surface of burrs.


Public radio station KPBS spoke with the center’s managing director Larry Stambaugh, who shares:

One example of biomimicry comes from the morpho butterfly, whose brilliant blue wings are due to a structural pattern that reflects blue light. Stambaugh said Qualcomm has used that pattern to create more vivid colors on its cell phone screens.

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.
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