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Chris Weber, president of Nokia USA, demonstrated a voice recognition technology to a crowd at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars earlier today. It will be introduced in their upcoming Windows Phone devices, allowing users to receive and send text messages verbally. It’s not clear whether he used an actual Nokia Windows Phone device for demonstration.
Nokia just licensed an audio technology that will enable them to deliver CD-quality stereo audio wirelessly over Bluetooth (BT) connections. BT is already used to stream stereo audio wirelessly from handsets and other audio devices to headphones and speakers, but it is bandwidth-constrained. Expect to see a range of accessories using this technology in the 4th quarter.
Nokia India and the Gurgaon Traffic Police have partnered up to launch a traffic management project called 3rdEYE in the city. A software called Tselina will be integrated with Nokia E5 devices to capture photo evidence of traffic violations in Gurgaon. Up to 300 traffic police personnel stationed at different locations in the city will be equipped with the Nokia E5.
Here’s a Facebook application for Symbian that you might want to try. It’s called fMobi and the version shown in this video is 1.2.2b. It’s currently beta for Symbian and is coming soon to the Nokia N9 (MeeGo). I’m showing it here on a Nokia N8. Check it out.
The Unwired reports of a party from Nokia and Microsoft in Cologne, Germany later this month. According the invitation, there will be a raffle to win Nokia devices with Windows Phone as soon as they are available. Could there be device announcements at this event? We’ll find out for sure on August 17th.
Reliable sources told us last month that Nokia was considering to change the naming convention to just numbers. They were right. Nokia announced the new system today on the Conversations blog. It goes like this: first number is the relative price/feature point while the next two numbers give each device a unique identifier within that point.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer for a number of well-known companies including Nokia, is hiring 1 million robots in 3 years to cut labor expenses and increase efficiency. They currently have 10,000 robots and the total number will jump to 300,000 next year. Foxconn currently employs 1.2 million human workers, some of whom will be replaced by the robots.
September. That’s when the next iPhone is rumored to come out. It’s also when industry sources claim HTC, Samsung and LG will launch the first Mango-based Windows smartphones. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop wants to release the first Nokia Windows Phone this year. Long-time Nokia fans probably assume December 31st, 2011 because Nokia has been really slow to act lately.
The Foursquare application 4squick for Symbian was updated earlier today to 0.715. The major changes include faster startup time, public/private check-in, share to Facebook or Twitter, leaderboard, user profiles, and bug fixes. I made a video to show the new features. Check it out!
Moody’s Investors Service, one of the big three credit rating agencies, lowered Nokia’s debt rating to two steps above junk. The debt rating was reduced by two steps to Baa2, the second-lowest among 10 investment-grade rankings. Nokia quickly responded that Moody’s rating will not have a major impact on their current financing costs.