When Nokia reported their Q4 2011 financial results last month there was one bit of news in there that we glossed over. Marko Ahtisaari, son of Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland, had his title upgraded from Head of Nokia Design to Executive Vice President of Nokia Design. His responsibilities will stay the same, he’ll just bring home more bacon. Anyway, Marko recently sat down with The Guardian and let out some details about the future of Nokia’s devices. Let’s start with the obvious: Near Field Communication (NFC) will be huge. We’ve been saying that forever now, but because the Head of Design at a huge multinational corporation said it in an interview we have to stand up and pay attention. Next up, Marko asks why do devices even have connectors in the first place? He’s talking about wireless charging of course, another thing we’ve been covering for ages, and have been hoping would end up in a device before anyone in our office dies of old age.
But seriously, there are good nuggets in there, and we encourage you to read the entire thing. Marko acknowledges that the Lumia 800 shouldn’t have shipped with a door covering the microUSB port. He also admits that his goal is to build devices that put you back in the real world, meaning devices that take up less of your attention. That’s almost the exact opposite of Apple’s philosophy where they want you to love your device and constantly fondle it, much to the annoyance of your significant other.
“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.”
What worries us is will Microsoft’s design teams respect Nokia’s design teams should they happen to come up with a better way to perform X, Y, or Z task? That’s the big question here since Nokia, as far as we can tell, is just another hardware maker at this point. A pretty hardware maker admittedly, but these days it’s the software people judge the most.
Update: Forget about the annoying door on the Lumia 800, this is the same guy who designed the Nokia X3 Touch and Type, the only T9 device we know of that has the *, #, and 0 keys to the right of the traditional nine dialing keys instead of directly underneath.