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April 2, 2008

Trimming the fat off your mobile existence

PALO ALTO, USA – Sure, heaps of mobile devices are designed to let you to manage a pocketful of digital media and keep on top of your daily social networking responsibilities. But with the ever-growing mountain of data we’re all facing is there a better way?

A new team at the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto reckons there is.

This new team is investigating concepts and prototypes that could involve entirely new handset form-factors and innovative services designed to “help mediate communication among people in everyday life”.

Tico Ballagas, a User Experience Researcher at NRC, is part of the team and highlight’s one possible method being developed, which has been dubbed ‘Mobile Phones as Social Actors’ (pictured). This is a virtual character that could help cope with our tides of data and social tasks, as Tico touches on:

“Mobile phones have the opportunity to become our best friends, trusted assistants, and beloved pets. Phones as social actors can help us cope with a burgeoning set of communication channels demanding attention like people calling us, “poking us”, or writing on our walls. The social actors can also serve as a proxy for delivering and receiving information creating a level of indirection that fosters plausible deniability. Recommendations and information coming from our social actor phones will be more trustworthy and relevant.”

Can such a concept really work? Would you trust it? We’re going to dig deeper into this, but in the meantime let us know what you think.