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Photos: Bendy, waterproof phones and door-opening devices - Nokia's mobile future on show

Nokia gives sneak peek of research work at Nokia World...
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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research Kinetic phone flexible

Nokia gives sneak peek of research work at Nokia World...

Nokia has been giving visitors to its Nokia World conference a peek at some of the future-gazing work coming out of its research labs.

Among the developments on show was this flexible mobile device known as Kinetic. The prototype is made from a flexible material containing a multitude of sensors to support a user interface based on bend gestures.

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2 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research Kinetic phone flexible

The prototype supports zooming in and out by flexing the device in and out, corners can be bent to go back and forward and the device can be twisted to select items in lists.

A Nokia spokeswoman said the company is exploring how a bend-based UI could be used in concert with a touchscreen UI, rather than as a replacement for touchscreen interaction.

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3 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research carbonanotubes

Nokia also showed off some of its nanotech research.

Pictured above at the front of the table are two flexible prototypes containing carbon nanotubes. Since the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes alter when they are stretched, flexing or pressing on the prototypes changes the electrical output - in this case they are using the conductivity change to zoom in and out of the map displayed on the monitor.

Future applications for this type of tech could include mobile devices that can be interacted with by holding, flexing and pressing on them, according to Nokia.

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4 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research superhydrophobic nanotech coating

Another slice of Nokia nanotech research on show was a superhydrophobic nanotech coating which the company envisages could be used to waterproof and dirtproof mobile devices in future.

Here the coating has been applied to a metal maze game. Once a droplet of water is applied, the superhydrophobic coating repels the water so the game can be played by tilting the maze to make the droplet navigate the pathways of the maze.

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5 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research NFC gate

While near-field communications (NFC) is more commonly associated with contactless payments, this mock-up access gate uses the tech as the key to open it. When an NFC-enabled mobile, such as the Nokia N9, is brought in proximity to the reader on the gate, the gate is unlocked and swings open, as pictured above.

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6 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research Bluetooth 3D indoor positioning system

Nokia was also demoing a 2D indoor positioning system, which in this case was set up to track various Nokia employees as they moved around the ExCel Centre, pictured above in 3D model form.

The tracking tech uses Bluetooth low energy with a tracking layer built on top of it. The system requires each floor of a building to be furnished with one Bluetooth antenna which can then triangulate the position of employees wearing trackable tags as they move about the space. Gates or zones can be added to the map so the system is able to count the number of tagged people passing through or occupying particular indoor areas.

One of the advantages of this system over other indoor technologies that can fix position, such as wi-fi, is its high degree of precision, according to Nokia. Nokia envisages enterprise applications such as tagged trolleys and supermarket baskets arriving first - perhaps as early as next year - before any consumer applications.

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7 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research Bluetooth 3D indoor positioning system

Here's a version of the same system set up to track objects indoors in 3D space - in this instance it's tracking the position of the indoor helicopter, pictured flying to the right of the screen.

To enable accurate 3D tracking, Bluetooth antennas are positioned at each corner of the space, rather than the single antenna required for the 2D people-tracking application on the previous page.

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8 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research 3D World Gaze

Nokia Research also showed off this mobile app called 3D World Gaze. The app uses GPS, accelerometers and maps to determine what is on the other side of the earth relative to the mobile user's position. Other countries and landmasses are displayed on the map, as pictured above, with the view changing as the phone is moved and tilted.

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9 of 9 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Nokia World Nokia Research HD Voice

Nokia was also demoing its HD voice research, which uses a different codec to the standard mobile voice codec that increases the sampling rate of audio to improve call quality.

In the UK, the Orange mobile network rolled out HD voice last year.

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