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OULU, Finland – It’s no secret that Nokia and Intel have been getting friendly for some time. The two companies announced that they were working together to create MeeGo back in February, and initial test versions have already appeared. Now it’s time for the relationship to move to the next stage. They’re moving in together. Honestly. Read on for more.

This month, Nokia and Intel have established a new, collaboratively owned and run laboratory at the Centre for Internet Excellence at the University of Oulu. The Intel and Nokia Joint Research Center, Oulu was officially opened by the partners’ CTOs – Rich Green for Nokia and Justin Rattner for Intel, together with Heikki Huomo, Director of the Centre.

The initial focus of the lab will be graphics: making new, next-generation graphical experiences for mobile users. There’s already a strong 3D internet research community established in Oulu, and the partners hope to tap into that excellence to help inspire their own projects. realXtend, an open source platform for interconnected 3D worlds, was created in the Oulu region.

The lab’s first projects involve creating new user interfaces for MeeGo and potentially other platforms that use 3D graphics in ways that are new, easy-to-use and enjoyable. There’s no word yet when we’ll see the first fruits of this new collaboration, but we’ll definitely be following their progress closely.

Meanwhile, here’s two examples of realXtend at work. Any chance we’ll be getting something like this on our mobile devices before too long?