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Corporate social responsibility is an important issue for Nokia, and often one of the hardest things to work out is where the border lies between CSR and individual choice. Fitness is clearly an issue where the boundaries blur, and while there’s a sizable and growing fitness community, there are plenty of potential people who would be put off by a phone guilting him or her into jogging. But is prominent awareness of a feature really suggestion?

Sports Tracker has been available to download to most GPS-enabled Nokia Series 60 handsets for a long time now, but it hasn’t become a pre-loaded staple piece of software that’s promoted front and centre on a device. Could it be, yes, should it be? What do you reckon?

Nike has adopted this approach, having collaborated to include Nike+ on certain Apple products. But what was originally an optional fitness bolt-on, is now becoming a bedrock feature with an inescapable prominence within these products. But is this more of an exaggerated marketing exercise than an example of corporate social responsibility gravitating further towards personal health and general well-being?

This opens an interesting question about what sorts of software should be included in a handset from a CSR perspective. But can we go too extreme on this? And who’s responsibility are these sorts of choices? The manufacturer or you, or a mash-up of the two? If we start cramming handsets full of apps such as we:offset (enabling you to calculate and offset your CO2 emissions), or Sports Tracker, is that a good thing or is it perceived as just plain coercive or simply unnecessary?

Nokia has of course have experimented with
this sort of integration in handsets before. The 5140 model, released
back in 2005, featured a function called Fitness Coach, which monitored heart rate and physical condition to tailor a training programme to your needs.

Since then though, Nokia has taken a less intrusive stance, letting users take advantage of programs such as Sports Tracker, but not touted it as a major selling point or installed it straight out of the box.

Give your two cents below.


Photo by SarahWynne