In describing the excitement of designing for fast-changing technologies, Curtis let loose a few more examples of what Nokia may have in store. "When today it's about Internet, touch[screens], QWERTY [keyboards], tomorrow it's going to be about TV, the year after that it's about projectors... it's fantastic to be able to operate in that space." TV, of course, is not brand-new. We've seen phones equipped with digital tuners not only in Asia but also here on Verizon and AT&T handsets. But we haven't seen the tech on Nokia phones yet. [Correction! Reader "Slyder" pointed us to this Chinese model that just debuted.]
Projectors, though, are new territory. The first handheld model, from 3M, appeared in October (and earned a Best of What's New honor), but it merely connects to a phone. No one has yet squeezed a projector into the phone itself. When a fairly conservative handset maker like Nokia starts talking about adding a new technology, it's a safe bet that other companies are working on it, too.
What about Nokia's rather nerdy software -- which is not always as slick as its hardware?
The software and hardware teams have grown apart in the past decade, said Curtis. But a recent company re-org will bring them closer together; the changes should appear in phones that debut about two years from now. He hopes it will bring Nokia back to the hand-in-hand development that produced, for example, the simplex UI, an interface controlled from a single button on the model 5110 phones.
"To get products right," Curtis said, "to get people to love the brand, you have to design the physical, the digital, the packaging, the experience, as one holistic experience."single page
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