We also got a demo of the recently-updated Nokia Maps, featuring goodies like 3D buildings, terrain information, traffic with multi-lane stats, and an expansion to 82 countries total. What took up a big chunk of my time was the “Nokia we” (not to be confused with Wii) green initiative. Eco-friendly tech was a huge trend at CES on the whole, and after watching An Inconvenient Truth for the first time on the way back home from the show, and definitely feeling the hippie monkey on my back to recycle some old phones. Apparently half of Nokia’s power demands are met by renewable energy, and have been working to keep their manufacturing processes as green as possible for the last 15 years. The hardest part of that process has been identifying the materials used in every single component of their phones – there are a lot of OEM partners involved, and keeping things green is a massive logistical undertaking, so good on Nokia for tackling the issue head-on. They even paid to offset my CO2 emissions for traveling to Vegas!
I stopped by the OtterBox booth on the way to see Qualcomm, and they had three prototypes on display for the BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry 8350i, and the BlackBerry 8700. The 8350i case was a bit of a no-brainer, since those who use push-to-talk are gennerally in some rough-and-tumble environment and need extra protection. The 8700 case was a bit of a throwback, but I was a little confused. I had actually reviewed their original 8700 case that was an airtight mammoth, and wondered why we weren’t seeing those super-tough cases for BlackBerry. Quite simply the market isn’t there. The people who need something military-grade and waterproof will typically go with the Armor series. Also got to meet the great Kristin Golliher there, who has been sending me freebies for a couple of years now. The Bold Impact review is on the way, promise!
Then it was off to Qualcomm to see what was up with their Snapdragon chip. Although it has a lot going for it, the biggest gains seem to be in graphics, seeing as they had a tech demo showing Android running in WVGA with the help of Snapdragon. Sashcha Sagan and I had a private briefing with Qualcomm execs on what Snapdragon and their other chips, but honestly, the technical stuff they talked about was way over my head. They’re looking at proper chips hitting Android, Windows Mobile and Linux devices in the first half of ’09.