Nokia’s Design chief’s “revolutionary phone” explained

We posted a few days ago about Nokia design chief Marko Ahtisaari’s statements to a Finnish newspaper, Kauppalehti,  that Nokia is working on a new device with revolutionary features.

At the time his statements seemed rather enigmatic, but Nokia has told that they were in line with what he has been talking about at Le Web 14 months ago, even before Nokia announced his Windows Phone strategy.

His statement now about the user not needing to bend down and poke the screen is now a lot more clear.  He explains that users tend to be deeply engaged and preoccupied with their phones to the exclusion of those around them, saying:

If you look at people using touchscreen devices today, they’ve got their heads down. The devices are immersive and require full attention. You’ll see couples in coffee shops who’ve been together 10-15 years both sat with their heads down, operating their devices.

We need to give people their head up again. The ability to keep social interaction with the people that they’re physically with. That means a better ability to use the devices single-handed and them requiring less of our attention for peripheral interactions. Notifications, for example, could be much improved so they require much less from us.

At the time the videos were recorded Marco was talking about Meego, although his distain for Android and admiration for Windows Phone already showed through, which should probably have helped betting men predict which way Nokia would swing when they finally decided not to go it alone.

Marco’s recent statements that he was working on a new phone which will not need the user to look down would either suggest further he is continuing his work on Meego and is planning to release a new device running the OS with further UI tweaks, or that he is planning to bring the features he speaks about in the video above regarding Meego, including better one handed usage, a button-less device and better, less intrusive notifications to Windows Phone (8 probably).

We assume Nokia remains committed to Windows Phone, and of course Nokia has repeatedly said they would bring some of their Meego innovations to Windows Phone, so I suspect this is what we will be seeing in about 6 months.

Do our readers agree? Let us know below.

See part 2, which includes the Q&A section, after the break.

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