A new report has concluded that a sizeable proportion of modern technology (in particular smartphones, tablets and other commonly-used gadgets) is extremely over reliant on very rare materials.
If the report’s findings are accurate, the scarcity of the metals and metalloids in question, combined with a sharply increasing demand for such devices, could seriously damage design innovation, as well as the manufacture of future products.
The report, compiled by researchers at Yale University, discussed the use of 62 materials found in widely used technology. Ultimately, the study concluded that none of the 62 metals or metalloids could be replaced without damaging the efficiency of the product. In fact, 12 of the 62 materials could not be replaced at all.