Tag: electronics

5 Ways to Recycle Your Old Smartphone

Having your new phone on hand, you finally have an excuse to ditch your current smartphone. Even if your old phone’s glory days are far behind it, you can still get some value when you decide to get rid of it.

Recycling your smartphone is a great way to reduce electronic waste, help your outdated tech find a new life, support a good cause or even make a little money.




According to a November 2012 survey by Lookout, 62% of American households have old cellphones lying around, unused.

Discarded iPhones alone account for $9 billion of unused goods in consumers’ homes.

Here are eight things you can do to make parting with your old phone that much more exciting.

1. Donate Your Phone to the Troops

Non-profit Phones for Soldiers works to provide U.S. troops with a cost-free way to call home from their active stations.

Through recycling partner Mindful eCycling, old mobile phones are traded in for calling cards and other communications devices.

2. Sell It on Glyde

Looking for a one-stop shop for selling back all the old tech in your home?

Glyde lets you buy and sell a variety of devices, plus it compares the amounts you can fetch on its site with offers from Amazon, Apple and Gazelle.

3. Put It on an Appstand

This picture frame for your iPhone 3 or 3GS turns your old iPhone into a lovely piece of home decor.

Available on sale for $8.73, the Appstand lets you breathe new life into your outdated Apple smartphone.

4. Sell It Back to Apple

Apple will trade your old iPhone for an Apple gift card through its Reuse and Recycling program. Amounts vary depending on your phone’s make and model.

5. Donate to Survivors of Domestic Violence

Verizon has collected more than 10 million phones since 2001 for victims of domestic abuse: one in four U.S. women, one in seven men and nearly 3 million children.

To donate your old phone, drop it at a Verizon store, ship it or donate to a HopeLine phone drive.

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Engineers Create New Architecture For Vaporizable Electronics

Engineers from Cornell and Honeywell Aerospace have demonstrated a new method for remotely vaporizing electronics into thin air, giving devices the ability to vanish – along with their valuable data – if they were to get into the wrong hands.

This unique ability to self-destruct is at the heart of an emerging technology known as transient electronics, in which key portions of a circuit, or the whole circuit itself, can discreetly disintegrate or dissolve.

And because no harmful byproducts are released upon vaporization, engineers envision biomedical and environmental applications along with data protection.

There are a number of existing techniques for triggering the vaporization, each with inherent drawbacks.




Some transient electronics use soluble conductors that dissolve when contacted by water, requiring the presence of moisture.

Others disintegrate when they reach a specific temperature, requiring a heating element and power source to be attached.

Cornell engineers have created a transient architecture that evades these drawbacks by using a silicon-dioxide microchip attached to a polycarbonate shell.

Hidden within the shell are microscopic cavities filled with rubidium and sodium biflouride – chemicals that can thermally react and decompose the microchip.

Ved Gund, Ph.D. ’17, led the research as a graduate student in the Cornell SonicMEMS Lab, and said the thermal reaction can be triggered remotely by using radio waves to open graphene-on-nitride valves that keep the chemicals sealed in the cavities.

The encapsulated rubidium then oxidizes vigorously, releasing heat to vaporize the polycarbonate shell and decompose the sodium bifluoride. The latter controllably releases hydrofluoric acid to etch away the electronics,” said Gund.

Amit Lal, professor of electrical and computer engineering, said the unique architecture offers several advantages over previously designed transient electronics, including the ability to scale the technology.

The stackable architecture lets us make small, vaporizable, LEGO-like blocks to make arbitrarily large vanishing electronics,” said Lal.

Gund added that the technology could be integrated into wireless sensor nodes for use in environmental monitoring.

For example, vaporizable sensors can be deployed with the internet of things platform for monitoring crops or collecting data on nutrients and moisture, and then made to vanish once they accomplish these tasks,” said Gund.

Lal, Gund and Honeywell Aerospace were recently issued a patent for the technology, and the SonicMEMS Lab is continuing to research new ways the architecture can be applied toward transient electronics as well as other uses.

Our team has also demonstrated the use of the technology as a scalable micro-power momentum and electricity source, which can deliver high peak powers for robotic actuation,” said Lal.

Fabrication of the polycarbonate shell was completed by Christopher Ober, professor of materials science and engineering, with other components of the architecture provided by Honeywell Aerospace.

Portions of the research were funded under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Vanishing Programmable Resources program.

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