Today, Reidar Wasenius, Senior Project Manager at the Nokia Mobile Phones Entertainment & Media Business Unit, will be in Cannes explaining his company's latest innovations to an audience of music industry pros at MIDEM, the year's biggest music market.
Nokia is a first-timer at Midem 2004. The company wants to hear what the music industry and the professionals have to say about its new device, scheduled for release later this year.
The Nokia 7700 Media Device should be available to consumers from 2Q/2004. It is Nokia's first "media phone", a new type of device with a completely new look, and bursting with properties. In fact it has so many tempting applications that it is almost a surprise to discover that it also serves as a phone, as Wasenius demonstrates. Amusingly, the 7700 must be turned on its side to perform this humble basic function.
The 7700's special application is the so-called "visual radio" function, of which more later. The media device is also the first mobile phone that has the technical wherewithal to enable viewing of digital TV transmissions, when it is hooked up with the Nokia Streamer, a mobile IP Datacast receiver using the DVB-H standard.
A pilot network in the Greater Helsinki area is currently examining how well video and audio can be streamed to mobile devices. Test transmissions are scheduled to start in the autumn. The venture is a collaboration between Digita, the commercial TV broadcasters MTV3 and Nelonen, Nokia, telecoms operators Radiolinja and TeliaSonera, and the Finnish Broadcasting Company (see linked press release below).
Visual radio is an innovation that Nokia intends to bring to its basic mobile handsets in the course of this year, replacing the standard FM-radio that is packaged with some models.