Nokia to Take on Galaxy S4, iPhone 5 with Smart Accessories
If recent rumors are any indication, Nokia is not content with only competing with the features of iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. According to reports, a line of next-generation Bluetooth 4.0 accessories will also be a part of Nokia’s formula going forward.
According to sources who spoke with The Verge, Nokia is preparing to create a new exclusive accessory for its Lumia Windows Phones will allow users to recover things they’ve lost. Dubbed Treasure Tag, reportedly, the device would have an NFC tag and Bluetooth 4.0 built into it so that user could attach it to things, like their keys, and instantly know be able to find it.
Using an application that accompanies the tags, users would be able to hold up their Lumia Windows Phone device and get a real-time overlay of where their lost item is. Instead of a flat map, the Treasure Tag’s location would be layered on top of the user’s real world surroundings. As it’s described, this view wouldn’t be completely different from the augmented reality design of the Nokia City Lens application that is included on every Nokia Lumia Windows Phone.
The Treasure Tag would alert users when their device is in range of their lost item attached to the Treasure Tag. Allegedly, the device would include a battery and be always-on. As the device and software would rely on the lower-battery features of Bluetooth 4.0, it’s likely that Nokia would wait until after it has rolled out the Nokia Amber Update to users before unveiling the Treasure Tag. The Amber Update will bring Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility to older Lumia devices like the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.
The Verge’s sources also allude to Nokia introducing more accessories that use Bluetooth 4.0 in the future. Although there have been no hints at what other types of devices users can expect, the technology powers many devices in the wearable computing space like the Nike+ Fuelband, and the latest smart watches.
If Nokia is expanding into wearables, it would be the latest in a series of moves that end with the company being the defacto Windows Phone hardware maker. No other Windows Phone device maker ships such a wealth of great smartphones backed by exclusive applications and decent first-party accessories. In fact, only Apple and Samsung seem to provide this level of software and accessory integration.
Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.