SAN JOSE, Calif. – Intel and Nokia are jointly investing in a small academic research lab to study future 3-D user interfaces and experiences for mobile devices. The Intel and Nokia Joint Innovation Center will be based at the University of Oulu in Finland which will hire about two dozen undergraduate and graduate students to staff it.
Intel and Nokia are each contributing an undisclosed sum to fund the center. They also hope to get support from the European Union's Framework R&D program.
The idea of the new center is to imagine what a 3-D graphical user interface might look and act like if you could create it from a clean sheet of paper, said Vida Ilderem, an Intel labs researcher who oversees Intel's participation in the effort. The labs work will include investigations into areas such as stereo 3-D and holographic interfaces.
"Many people project today's 2-D interfaces into the 3-D realm, but how do you interact with it, make it immersive and exciting," Ilderem asked.
The lab is the latest step in a broad collaboration agreement struck in June 2009 between Intel and Nokia. To date the biggest outcome of that collaboration has been a decision in February to merge separate mobile Linux efforts from the two companies into the new MeeGo environment.
Intel hops the collaboration leads to Nokia being a lead user in a next-generation mobile SoC based on its Atom processor. Intel is also seeking expertise in baseband technology.
Analysts had expected Intel to acquire the cellular chip group of Infineon for its baseband expertise. But in the wake of Intel's $7.8 billion acquisition of security software company McAfee, some believe that acquisition is now less likely.