I grabbed the opportunity to speak to the Director of Product and Technology Marketing at Nokia, Sari Ståhlberg, about the still-unconfirmed Touch Tube handset and the patent application for a gesture-controlled UI (pictured), who unfortunately couldn’t say too much about it, but did “confirm there will be a touch device coming out later this year.”
She acknowledged that “touch is something the market wants…it’s a great thing, it is a way to access all the things we have in the S60 platform”, but that “maybe touch is not good for everything”.
That gave me the opportunity to ask about the patent application that was flying around the internet a few weeks back, showing a gesture-controlled UI involving sensors and emitters sending out soundwaves. “Sensors are a big thing for us, like motion in the Nintendo Wii…we have been announcing we’ll be bringing sensor frameworks for the S60 platform, a framework where you can plug in some kind of sensor, like motion, light, humidity and sound”.
Sensors could have varying jobs and help with future applications, as Ståhlberg described, “it’s easy for the different applications to use the information that comes in from the sensors, letting third party developers innovate”.
The more third party developers innovate, of course, means that we can wave goodbye to our battery life, that up until now has never been that impressive in Nokia handsets such as the N95. Ståhlberg admitted “it’s a general problem, we have recognised it, and we are working to improve it by looking at the batteries, but also the software”.
Saying this as someone who was impressed by the N95’s might, but saddened by the lack of battery life, I hope they will address the problems before the launch of the Touch Tube later in the year, and any handset involving a Wii-like input method.