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November 21, 2008

Hollywood Nokia lab dissects mobile entertainment DNA

HOLLYWOOD, USA – A new Nokia Research Center has sprouted Stateside in the country’s entertainment capital. Echoing the theme of the location, NRC Hollywood’s core focus is on exploring new entertainment experiences and technologies that fuse the digital and physical worlds for the sake of fun.

This new lab promises to follow the thread of augmented reality, but also explore alternative methods of physical/digital interaction that include developing “new interfaces that fully explore the role of the human body and human motion for more natural forms of interaction”.

Interacting with your device with a gesture? A wink? And all for the purpose of exploring a new breeds of mobile entertainment, involving movies, games, music, web and TV. It’s certainly an intriguing premise on which to launch a new research facility. NRC Hollywood’s Laboratory Director, Rebecca Allen, has some intriguing visions for the lab. Read on to find out what’s bubbling inside her brain.

“Hollywood has an enormous variety of academic institutions, innovative media businesses and unique creative talent. It offers exactly the right ingredients for research into topics that will be vital for Nokia’s business in the future. The link with the movie industry is naturally strong, however the entertainment concepts we will be working on at the NRC Hollywood laboratory are even more diverse.”

Speaking to Mobilizedtv, Rebecca talks about what engages her about this type of research.

“If you want to do something creative with new technologies, you have to dig in and understand the tools. The better you know your tools, the more innovative things you can do with them… We’re able to be disruptive – to throw out new ideas and see if we can bring in innovation into the company. Another big area will be looking at new user interfaces, which is very exciting for me too – I’ve done a lot of work with human bodies, human motion, non-verbal communication… When we’re out in the physical world, having a keyboard and mouse don’t make sense so exploring further the interfaces will make that particularly interesting.”

She goes on to tell Mobilizedtv more about NRC Hollywood’s collaborative plans.

“We haven’t announced Hollywood partners. I’ve been spending a chunk of my time talking to people. In the Los Angeles area, there are numerous interesting groups that look at technology tied in with media, often associated with media companies. We’re looking, in some cases, to collaborate with these media technology companies or even with a company generating media and interested in moving into the mobile space. We’re talking to some people and will talk to more who could be potential collaborators. Also, we’re looking at creative talent in the media industry.”

Let us know what you think to this new entertainment-driven research effort in the comments section below.

Photo from Sörn