Nokia's The Way We Live Next 3.0 event isn't intended to launch new hardware - they had Nokia World a few months back for that - but they couldn't let the day pass without revealing a few details as to how they envisage devices and services of the future functioning. Heikki Norta, SVP of corporate strategy, took to the stage to show a demo video of possible mobile life in 2015, complete with location sharing, face recognition and that old mainstay of futurology concepts, projection keyboards. There's also a pretty impressive dual-display netbook and a modular system which can easily switch your "passport data" between a full-sized handset and a smaller unit more suited to exercise-wear.
Video demo after the cut
In their vision, neither the device nor the "cloud" services are totally responsible for the mobile experience. Rather than viewing the handset as a "window" onto the cloud, or as a standalone device, the system always uses the most efficient method of computation available to it. In an area overspilling with wireless bandwidth, that might mean using remote servers to crunch streaming video and pick out individual faces; while on a plane - assuming there's no WiFi available, or airlines of 2015 have raised their prices so high we can't afford to access it - the device would be self-sufficient.
It's important to remember that, as a concept, we shouldn't necessarily expect to see any of the functionality in the video arrive in shipping devices. Still, Nokia have told us they're targeting 300m active service users by the end of 2011, and to reach that figure it's going to take some serious selling of the benefits of not only innovative devices once every two years, but services that establish an ongoing relationship.