Nokia's Eco Sensing Cell Phone Brings New Meaning to Connectivity

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by: Idris Mootee

Social networks are finally converging with mobile connectivity and eco-friendly concepts. Nokia is at the cutting edge of innovation again (Motorola, what are you guys doing?) with this visionary concept of Eco Sensor Phone System. This new design concept consists of a cell phone and compatible sensing device that allows you to stay connected to your friends as well as to your health and local environment.

The concept consists of two parts – a wearable sensor unit which can sense and analyze your environment, health, weather conditions, and a dedicated mobile phone. You can also share the environmental data your sensing device collects and view other users’ shared data (here’s the 2.0 ideas kick in), thereby increasing your global environmental awareness.

The sensor unit will be worn on a wrist or neck strap made from solar cells that provide power to the sensors. NFC (near field communication) technology will relay information by touch from the sensors to the phone or to or to other devices that support NFC technology. Both the phone and the sensor unit will be as compact as possible to minimize material use, and those materials used in the design will be renewable and/or reclaimed. The Nokia Eco Sensor Concept will reportedly adhere to the following principles of waste reduction:

– Printed electronics. This can significantly decrease the size of a device by an estimated 50% from phones in 2007.

– Bio-materials, such as polylactic acid (PLA) plastics with plant or other biomass-based modifiers and the casing will be made from reclaimed steel and powered by  Kinetic energy

– Electrowetting display – applying electrical voltage to tiny drops of oil, causing the droplets to expand and contract. When compressed under the display glass, expanding droplets produce an effect similar to a pixel "lighting up.

You will be able to choose which sensors you would like to have inside the sensing device, thereby customizing the device to your needs and desires. For example, you could use the device as a "personal trainee" if you were to choose a heart-rate monitor and motion detector (for measuring your walking pace). I think this can easily be expanded into interesting ideas once the participation mechanism is in place. The design is very sleek and with a iPhone like big screen. I wonder if it allows plugging in of additional sessor for feeding of other kinds of data other than environment. Not sure it comes with an Al Gore speical edition. Defintiely a cool phone, but I will stick to my two blackberries for the time being. Happy Holidays!

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