Mobile users will be familiar with the feeling of their handset getting hotter when they are using it to perform particularly intensive tasks, such as playing games, watching high res videos or running navigation apps for extended periods.
As the internal hardware becomes more powerful, the amount of heat it generates also increases, which is the root cause of this issue. Of course, the overheating of smartphones is compounded by the fact that the materials used to enclose all of the chipsets that pump out this heat are not particularly good at dissipating it.
Having gadget insurance to protect a device which is prone to overheating can be a good idea since manufacturer warranties so often fall short and the best gadget insurance will provide coverage if a fault arises at any point.
Thankfully, progress has been made in the form of a freshly developed material designed specifically to keep smartphones cool.
A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced last month that it has come up with a completely unique polymer which is the result of many years research and development in an effort to deal with the high temperatures that can accumulate within modern gadgets.
Without going into the technical complexities of the material itself, the simple explanation is that it is a much better conductor of heat than even the metals which are commonly used in the construction of modern high-end handsets.
As the processor works hard, the polymer will draw the heat away and allow it to be transferred to the surrounding environment. This will mean that the phone will be cooler to the touch, regardless as to which tasks it is tackling and users will not need to worry about the temperatures becoming high enough to result in damage.
Of course, device damage is not the only benefit of this new material. Contemporary chipsets are designed to deliberately underclock themselves in the event that they hit a particular temperature, which results in performance degrading as the temperature of the device rises.
By keeping phones cooler, the chipsets will be able to operate at their maximum clockspeeds for longer, rather than being compromised.
Battery performance can also suffer if temperatures become too great, while the likelihood of a cell failing or even catching fire is far higher if the device in question is too hot.
Ideally, all of these issues and a number of other limitations in current designs will be overcome thanks to the development of this conductive polymer.
It will be some time before the researchers are able to get a commercial version of this material to market. There are also questions which are yet to be answered, such as how much it will cost and what it will feel like in the hand. Even so, the polymer appears to be a major step forward and a promising sign that the smartphones of the future may be cooler and faster.