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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Nokia's trump card in the battle against Apple

Ever since Nokia and Microsoft announced in January that they'd be working together going forward, they've been people essentially camped out on two sides.  One who see it as a win-win, where hopefully the two giants re-emerge as a credible player in the smartphone race again and others who it as the final nail on the coffin of two has-beens.

For all the talk that's been going on about the lack of innovation that Microsoft or Nokia's had, I've got one word for you: SKINPUT.

What is Skinput?

Simple, this could be very easily be Nokia's trump card in regaining their foothold in the smartphone race and this could at the very same time make you feel the touch-interface on your current smartphone is grossly outdated.

Skinput is essentially "a system that would allow you to control devices simply by hitting specific points on your arm. Not a device on your arm. Just your arm itself."  

If you've seen the Microsoft Kinect, you can understand just where Microsoft can come in and play a vital role here.

All that R&D and know-how that Microsoft put into creating their next generation Xbox is probably going to be vital to their overall strategy in the mobile computing and smartphone race as well.  Keypads, touch screens, mice and joysticks could all be devices of the past if all that you need is your arm or your body to control devices around you.

Skinput is something that already exists in the prototype stage today as can be seen in the video below.

Having seen all of this, it's mind-boggling to think about what a Nokia-Microsoft could produce if Apple hasn't quite got wind of this yet.  I'm sure years and years of research have gone into a project of this magnitude at Microsoft and with Nokia's traditional strength in hardware, they could make for an awesome two-some.

So the next time you think you've forgotten your phone somewhere or struggle to fit it into your pockets or purse, think, soon enough you won't have to worry about this. 

A lot of the inputs for this came from an article I'd read in Fast Company (click here for story).  Have a read through it and pretty soon, your Star Trek-type fantasies could be true.

Posted By: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics