New Intel, Nokia Development Lab To Create 3D Interfaces For Mobile Devices

Intel and Nokia will develop 3D and virtual reality applications for mobile devices through a joint research center the two companies have established in Oulu, Finland, the two companies said Tuesday.

The research will focus on developing improved user interfaces for mobile devices, the companies said, and could one day even enable people to see holograms of whomever they are talking to on a mobile phone.

The lab, based at the University of Oulu, is an outgrowth of the MeeGo Linux-based operating system project Intel and Nokia launched in February. The lab will employ about two-dozen researchers and much of the facility's MeeGo-based research activity will be open source, Intel said.

"3-D technology could change the way we use our mobile devices and make our experiences with them much more immersive," said Rich Green, Nokia senior vice president and chief technology officer, in a statement.

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The lab, officially called the Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center, is part of Intel's European Research Network, Intel Labs Europe. Intel said the University of Oulu was chosen to host the lab because of its focus on future telecommunications technology, electronics and photonics research.

Intel and Nokia have promoted MeeGo, an early version of which was released to developers in June, as an open-source operating system for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, as well as for home entertainment systems.

The new lab, and the MeeGo project overall, is widely viewed as an effort by Intel to increase the use of Intel chips - including the Intel Atom microprocessors - in mobile devices. While Intel technology is ubiquitous in desktop computers, the manufacturer hasn't been as successful in the mobile device arena.