Nokia, Intel, and Finland's University of Oulu announced a new innovation centre that will develop 3D mobile user experiences including virtual reality technologies like holograms. Forget Facetime on the iPhone 4, think Star Wars. Leila Makki reports.
The Finnish facility is aligned with the new MeeGo open source platform that was announced by Intel and Nokia at Mobile World Congress in February of this year. According to both companies, MeeGo, which is the combination of Nokia's Maemo and Intel's Moblin, enables greater flexibility for an intuitive 3D experience on handsets.
"3D technology could change the way we use our mobile devices and make our experiences with them much more immersive," said Rich Green, CTO of Nokia. "Our new joint laboratory with Intel draws on the Oulu research community's 3D interface expertise, and over time will lay down some important foundations for future mobile experiences."
In two separate interviews, TelecomTV asked Avatar producer Jon Landau and creator of the TV Show, Heroes, Tim Kring about whether they were willing to make 3D content for the small screen. Both Hollywood heavyweights told us that they see the money-making and technological potential of bringing 3D experiences to mobile phones.
You can watch the Jon Landau interview here
Nokia and Intel plan to roll out MeeGo, a Linux-based platform, across a variety of devices including smartphones, netbooks, and tablet computers. During the six months since the announcement in Barcelona, neither company has released any devices running on the new open source platform. However, rumour has it that Nokia's next smartphone, the N9 will be on MeeGo. The handset, which features a snazzy 4-inch Super Amoled screen, reportedly does not use an Intel chip but instead one from rival Qualcomm. Ouch!
Regardless, the joint collaboration should get a move on as Android surpassed both Blackberry and Apple in the second quarter, becoming the leading smartphone OS in the United States. According to the NPD Group, Android was on 33 per cent of all smartphones, compared to 28 per cent for the BlackBerry OS and 22 per cent for Apple iOS.
Located in Nokia's home turf, the centre will work closely with the Oulu Urban Living Labs, which conducts sensor research, testing and piloting technological and social innovations. Over the next three years, the research centre should hopefully revive Nokia's lack lustre mobile offerings as it follows an industry and academia collaboration model similar to the ones Intel already has in Spain, Germany and the United States.
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