Nokia design chief hints at future NFC support, wireless charging

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will incorporate Near Field Communications technology into future smartphones running Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone software, and is also considering removing all moving parts to its phones, a senior executive said.

Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's senior vice president of hardware and software design

Ahtisaari

In an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Marko Ahtisaari, Nokia's senior vice president of hardware and software design, also espoused the idea that Nokia is focused on creating user interfaces that allow people to zip through their days faster. His emphasis on a differentiated user interface that stands apart from Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform is at the heart of Microsoft's sales pitch around Windows Phone and its Live Tiles.

"Touchscreens as user interfaces are immersive. My goal is give people their head up--give people a UI that's less immersive, so that we can be more present for each other, and more present for the environment that we're in right here," he said. "NFC shortcuts through dozens of pokes and taps and swipes." Microsoft has indicated it will add NFC support for Windows Phone later this year.

In a bit of design minutiae that could have broader implications, Ahtisaari said that Nokia plans to remove the flip-up plastic casing covering the Lumia 800's micro USB port in future designs. "If you can take away a moving part and make it [the phone] more beautiful in the placement of the components, we'll do it, so that's something where we can certainly keep improving," he said. "Take it to the extreme, and why are there any connectors?" The removal of all connecters, including for charging, would imply a system of wireless charging, as Hewlett-Packard had with its webOS devices.

Nokia has so far shipped more than 1 million Lumia smartphones since they went on sale in November, and the company is hoping that partnerships with T-Mobile USA, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T)  and likely other carriers will help it relaunch its brand in the U.S. market.

For more:
- see this The Guardian article
- see this separate The Guardian article
- see this The Verge article

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