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Intel And Nokia Look To 3-D Holograms

New Finnish research lab will focus on real innovations such as MeeGo, as well as exploring the realms of science fiction, say Intel and Nokia

Fans of George Lucas’ Star Wars films could one day see the hologram-style communications depicted in the movies made real, thanks to a tie-up between Intel and Nokia.

The companies announced the next step in an ongoing deal which dates back to 2009 with the establishment of a new research lab in Oulu, Finland. As well as continuing to develop the open source software platform MeeGo, the companies also stated they are working towards the potential development of a holographic user interface.
“Another potential area of research could look into technologies that allow displaying a 3-D hologram of the person you are talking to on the phone, a capability only found in science fiction movies today,” the companies said in a statement. “Consumers will feel more involved and engaged with their mobile experience than with current methods.”
More Compact Than R2D2

Fans of Star Wars will be familiar with such holographic user interfaces as depicted in the 1977 film A New Hope where heroine Princess Leia places a holographic message inside the robot R2D2. Presumably, however, the devices Nokia and Intel devise will be more compact than a three-foot robot on wheels.
Intel and Nokia announced their partnership in June 2009, with the development of MeeGo as the main result of the collaboration so far. MeeGo is a Linux-based open-source mobile operating system project that debuted in February as a joint project of Intel and Nokia. The project aims to merge the efforts of Intel on Moblin and of Nokia on Maemo into one project.
A preview of MeeGo was made available to developers last month. The release gives developers access to Meego V1.1 for handsets expected to be released in October.
Around two dozen researchers will be based in the new lab which will focus on using the open source foundations of MeeGo as a platform to develop 3D interface technology that could eventually lead to the hologram-based systems, the companies said.
Immersive Experience
“3-D technology could change the way we use our mobile devices and make our experiences with them much more immersive,” said Rich Green, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Nokia. “Our new joint laboratory with Intel draws on the Oulu research community’s 3-D interface expertise, and over time will lay down some important foundations for future mobile experiences.”
The lab will be located at the Center for Internet Excellence at the University of Oulu, and will work closely with the Oulu Urban Living Labs, which focuses on research into “social innovations”, the companies said.
Nokia and Intel aren’t the only mobile players exploring innovative technology. Earlier this week Apple filed a patent for a heartrate monitor to help with the recovery of stolen and jailbroken handsets.


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