Might we be starting to see signs of technological life from Nokia?
The Nokia World Show, which took place in London this past week, gave the public and the media some glimpses of what might be ahead for Nokia in its new relationship with Microsoft and its Windows Phone operating system.
The first “wow” came from the Nokia Kinetic prototype phone, a bendy, stretchy phone that responses to input from the user not through buttons, but flexing and twisting the phone. While the phone has a touch screen for finer manipulation, the user can bend it to scroll through a page for example. Which way you scroll depends on how you twist the phone. (You can watch a demonstration of the phone here).
Microsoft – as a Nokia partner – took the time to let the public in on its vision of the future in a series of videos that look five to 10 years into the future to examine how people will interface with technology. In the concept video, we see next-next-gen technologies such as eyeglasses that translate languages on-the-fly, phones that interact with home-based systems that allow people to run their homes from the other side of the world, “smart” digital business cards that change information, phones as thin as playing cards that allow users to actively interact with digital advertisement boards, advanced voice interaction with digital devices, 3-D desktop imaging, and “Minority Report”-style 3-D computing display and hand gesture control. (You can see the video here).
“We create these videos to help tell the story we see unfolding in technology, and how it will impact our lives in the future. The video shows our vision for a future where technology extends and highlights our productive capabilities; it helps us manage our time better, focus our attention on the most important things, and foster meaningful connections with the people we care about,” said Kurt DelBene, president, Microsoft Office Division in a post on Microsoft’s blog.
Though the videos are sexy (and everybody in the future will be slim and attractive, apparently) it's not really obvious where Nokia might fit into Microsoft's futuristic visions. But it's clear that Nokia is hoping that its alliance with Microsoft – announced in February of this year by Nokia chief and former Microsoft employee Stephen Elop – will revive the world's largest phone maker, which has seen a slump of epic proportions as of late.
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell