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December 8, 2008

Mopping up Nokia World

BARCELONA, Spain – There was plenty to see in Barcelona last week, but even we couldn’t see it all, for the fog that was created around the N97 and Maps. Someone told me this morning the N97 was one of the most tweeted subjects on Twitter last Tuesday and judging by the videos (and awards) on YouTube, it was top of the agenda there too. But, and here’s the rub, they weren’t the only announcements last week. There were some pretty cool moves elsewhere on the Nokia World dance-floor. Read on to find out what they were.

Nokia Home Music
Now this is a departure, but in a good way. Essentially a WiFi music streamer which can pick up music from your PC or phone and Internet radio using your broadband connection. What’s more, it has a DRM decoder built in, so playing your Comes with Music collection in the lounge will be a cinch. It also packs an FM radio, digital and analogue outputs (for hooking up to your stereo) and Ethernet. Whilst this seems like an unusual move for Nokia, in the sense that it isn’t a mobile device, it does possibly give an indication of things to come, as the company spreads its Services wings.

Nokia Home Control Centre
We first spotted this at The Way We Live Next and is the first (that we know) product to venture from that event to reveal itself as a real life product. Using your mobile phone as the controller, the Nokia Home Control Centre can communicate with a range of in-house devices including security cameras, light switches, heating controls and door and window locks. Someone locked outside your house and can’t get in? No problem, check their ID using the live webcam, then unlock the door using the software on your Nokia. It all works seamlessly and there are already a string of companies signed up to make their products compatible. The device and service is very smart and once more gives a clue as to how else Nokia could take services into the home.

Nokia Internet Stick
Mobile broadband is taking off with some speed this year and is set to get even bigger next year. Nokia’s first mobile broadband device offers full HSDPA support at 7.2Mbps to ensure you get the fastest possible download, and upload speeds when you’re on the move. Sure, most devices can do the same thing, but sometimes it’s nicer to have a specialist device do it for you. Again, it looks better than most and of course, I wouldn’t mind one either. Only if it comes with a free sim though. Available early next year.

Nokia Extra Power DC-11
On-the-go chargers aren’t new, but this one is. Beautifully designed and capable of charging narrow 2.5mm pin or miniUSB enabled devices, it’ll deliver one full charge if you can’t find a permanent power source when you’re out and about. I think it looks rather pretty and I want one. Shame it’s not out until the new year.

It seems to me that the word device will mean a whole load of different things next year, and they won’t all be mobile either. Rather than viewing some of these as odd departures (which i for one could easily do) I think to look at them in the context of Services helps make sense of their existence. Question is, what else could be coming in the pipeline? Of course, we’re not going to indulge in any speculating, but we’d be interested to know what you think those things could, or even should, be.