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MANAUS, Brazil – If you thought researchers spent all their time knee-deep in nano-technology or with their heads in the clouds, then these two new apps from the Nokia Technology Institute (INdT) in Brazil might come as something of a surprise. What we have here is an app for getting out of sticky social situations and another for helping celebrate your friends’ birthdays. Find out more, and how to get your hands on them after the break.

Happy Birthday lets you turn your phone into a birthday cake. You enter your friend’s name and their date of birth and it produces a personally iced cake complete with candles. Hand it over to them and they can blow out the candles by puffing on the microphone.



Very silly, of course, but a fun way to show off your phone and do something nice for a friend at the same time. Happy Birthday works with S60 5th edition touch devices and is free from the Ovi Store.

The second app is called Desguiator. Again, very small and single-minded, it allows you to set your phone to ring in response to a simple gesture, such as tapping it. As we understand it, the idea is to prime it before what might be a disastrous date or other unwanted meetings. Just as the situation is becoming hopeless, a discrete tap – your phone rings, and – oh dear – you have to leave.

Desguiator is also a free download from Ovi Store and designed for touch-enabled S60 v5 phones.

In case you were wondering, the INdT’s work does not primarily consist of turning out party-trick apps. Its real work is much more serious. It’s been involved, for example, in creating apps to help contain the outbreak of contagious diseases through quick and easy mobile monitoring and data collation from field health workers. Still, good of them to use their spare time to create a pair of interesting apps for the rest of us.

image credit: Seattle Municipal Archives