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June 25, 2008

New and better futures predicted (and how to send us links)

ESPOO, Finland – I found some pretty interesting stories out there today. One serves as a entry into the discussion around the Symbian Foundation announcement on Tuesday. Three stories are around designing products and services that make our world safer and more sustainable. And then, I’ve added a little note on how you can send us some links of stories that you find interesting.

So, what are we waiting for? Read on…

The new mobile reality

The Symbian Foundation announcement on Tuesday sent ripples across the whole industry, much like when S60 was first licensed 6 years ago. But, the world is much different now, with many more players and a much more mature industry. Om Malik has a great analysis of where all this is going and what it means for the industry. With new players like Apple and Google, I am sure the backers of Symbian and Linux are wondering if they await the same fate as Palm, who blew it all after dominating the market. With the new Symbian Foundation, I think things will continue being interesting for a many more years.

My real question, though, is what does it mean for the users? Fragmentation and such is a pain. Or do users not even care or know what OS they have?

Design a better world

The great folks over at Adaptive Path, a design consultancy in San Francisco (disclaimer: they’ve collaborated on some projects with Nokia), posted two nice interviews (links via Matt Jones). Both articles show how good design can be applied to environmentalism, emerging markets, and city safety.

The first interview is of Raphel Grignani, by Rachel Hinman, about Nokia’s ‘Homegrown’ project. We’ve covered it here before, but we can’t get enough of it, so go read the interview. The second interview is with Mike Migurski and Tom Garden from Stamen Design, by Sebastian Heycke. What I like about Stamen is the way they are able to make complex visualization fun and informative (read the article to learn about their Oakland Crimespotting project). I’ve been keeping an eye on Stamen (disclaimer: I think Nokia has collaborated on projects with them). With the increase of the data and communication streams people are keeping up with, and wanting to keep up with them via a mobile, visualization and ease of use will only get more important. Stamen and others skillful at visualization will be more critical in the future.

Green phones

I have a fascination with the Nokia 3110 Evolve, which has bioplastics, shipped in recycled cartons, comes with a super charger, and so on. Indeed, we’re working on a video talking about it. But, Nokia is not the only one looking at ways of making phones more environmentally sustainable. Samsung has recently unveiled two environmentally friendly phones. If you want to know more about the impact of the mobile industry on the environment, ARN has a review.

Send us links

Where do I find these stories? Some are part of my own list of sites we follow (see list in the right column) or from the various tools we use to keep an eye out on the conversation. Also, I follow some smart folks who send me links too (yeah, Jonathan, that’s you, and thanks). In addition to the comments you can leave and our suggestions page, you can send us links, too. If you want to send links, the best way is for you to send them to me via (we’re nokiaconversations there). The ones that make sense, we add to our list, and we pick some to add to our stories or to highlight in posts like these. Deal?

Image from sciain