1/28/10

Radar in your pocket?

ESPOO, Finland – The mad scientists at Nokia Research Center are always brewing up something that let’s us peak behind the curtain of future mobile technologies. Some concoctions make it into our mobile phones, while others never make it outside the NRC building in Helsinki. “Mobile Radar” is definitely one I’d like to see in my handset sooner rather than later.

Unveiled today during “Demo House 2010” at Aalto University located just down the road from Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, the “Mobile Radar” demo shows how you can measure an object’s distance, speed, and direction using a mobile device. It’s essentially the same technology the police use in their radars to give you a $239,000 speeding ticket. (it’s true, in Finland, speeding fines are based on your salary)

In the video shown below, you’ll see researcher Jani Ollikainen use his hand to adjust the music player’s volume, without ever touching the hardware. Even with an object in his way (like your pants pocket or even a wood door), the radar works without a hitch. In the second demo, you’ll see fellow researchers Terhi Rautiainen and Risto Kaunisto measure the distance, speed, and direction of a human walking.

The possibilities are endless with this technology. How about a home security system that alerts you if there’s movement in your house? Or how about some cool new gaming? Check out the video below and post how you’d like to see mobile radar used! But don’t get your hopes up that you’ll see this in a Nokia handset very soon, it’s still just a prototype.

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