Intel and Nokia will today unveil a research centre created by the two firms along with the University of Oulu in Finland, which will focus on user interfaces for mobile devices and 3D in particular.
Hosted at the University of Oulu itself, the Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center will host about two dozen researchers initially and work to develop new and compelling mobile user experiences that are more similar to interactions in the real world.
The work will primarily focus on Meego, the Linux-based platform created by the merger of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Meamo, and both companies are talking about developing 3D user experiences for future mobile devices.
"Increasingly user experience and interaction is becoming a huge driver for innovation," said Martin Curley, director of Intel Labs Europe.
He said that "significant opportunities" will emerge from the development of the 3D internet, and that the proliferation of bandwidth and growing power of computing devices will be able to deliver on this vision in the near future.
"We truly believe that compelling user experience and user interface and networking are the key for the future mobile internet experience. Also, 3D and virtual worlds have the potential to revolutionise mobile and internet user experience," said Mika Setälä, Nokia's director of Strategy Alliances and Partnerships.
When asked about potential 3D mobile applications, the two firms held up social networking as one example. Nokia's Heikki Huomo, director of its Center for Internet Excellence, said that people meeting in 3D to collaborate, combined with location information, would be a very compelling application.
"Consumers will feel more involved and engaged when using this technology," he said.
Meego also covers a broad range of device categories, so these capabilities could be brought to phones or web tablets, or some other device format, Huomo added.
Even immersive 3D environments such as Cave (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), only available to researchers today, will be within the capabilities of computing devices within a few years, according to Curley.
However, the companies had no formal timeframe for when such technologies might be brought to market. The initial commitment to funding the Joint Innovation Center runs for three years, and the results of the research will be available for open usage, Nokia and Intel said.
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