Thursday, August 26, 2010

Intel and Nokia researching 3D UI and holograms for cellphones

Chip maker Intel and cellphone leader Nokia have come together to create the first joint laboratory to focus on researching futuristic technologies for mobile devices, like 3D holographic displays for cellphones. The Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center, as they call it, opened on Tuesday in co-operation with the University of Oulu in Finland, Europe.
The lab will initially employ “about two dozen R&D professionals,” Intel wrote in a statement, stressing the need to research tech like 3G holographic displays for mobile devices, “a capability only found in science fiction movies today,” and user interfaces that mimic real-world interactions to enable “natural and intuitive” experiences.
3D holographic research should particularly benefit from the Oulu research community’s 3D interface expertise. The technology will enable future smartphones to display a 3D hologram of a person. The MeeGo operating system, another Intel-Nokia collaboration, is well suited to power the user interface the two partners have in mind. True to their open source mantra, the companies said that much of the lab’s research activity will also be open source.

Christian’s Opinion

This is an exciting development because hologram tech has been coming along at a snail’s pace. The problem with it is that it takes years of research and tons of money with absolutely no guarantee of success. Both Nokia and Intel are big spenders in the R&D game. Nokia is the biggest R&D spender in Europe, pouring $7.6 billion, or 12 percent of its $50.7 billion in 2009 annual revenue, into its R&D department that consists of almost one in three of its employees.
Intel spent $4.1 billion on R&D in the first nine months of last year. The fact that two industry heavyweights have joined forces on research doesn’t mean your next Nokia device will sport a 3D holographic display, but it certainly helps move the tech forward.

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