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article imageNokia may announce wearables and a VR headset on July 28

By James Walker     Jul 23, 2015 in Technology
Rumours are circulating online that Nokia could be gearing up to enter some product categories it has never dealt with before in just a few days' time. Some think a smartwatch and virtual reality headset may be revealed at a July 28 press event.
When Microsoft bought Nokia's Devices & Services division last year, acquiring its smartphone business and the rights to its Lumia handsets, many thought the end of Nokia was nigh. Far from it — the company is still alive and developing new products, the first of which are expected to be revealed on July 28.
After launching the Foxconn-built Nokia N1 Android-powered tablet last year, all has been quiet from Nokia. It is thought that the company this week sold HERE Maps to a consortium of German car manufacturers. It has also previously admitted that it intends to restart smartphone production with a licensing partner in 2016, but otherwise there have been no other launches.
That could be about to change. The company recently sent out mysterious press invites to a VIP event, leading many to wonder exactly what will be discussed over the course of the evening. The invite's message of "Nowhere / Now Here" suggests that confirmation of the successful bidder for HERE Maps will be delivered but many expect something more.
Earlier this week, Re/code revealed that Nokia is at work on a virtual reality headset, citing insider sources as informants. Although details are scarce, it would be an interesting new avenue for Nokia to explore, putting it up against Facebook's Oculus Rift, Sony's Project Morpheus, HTC's Vive and others.
Today, UberGizmo reports on another product that Nokia may be exploring: the wearable market. Last month, designs for a "Nokia Moonraker" smartwatch were discovered. The device was created just a few months before the Microsoft deal entered the scene so it ultimately never made it to stores. Moonraker drew heavily on Microsoft's design language but appears to have been totally independent and did not run Windows.
Up until today, the project has seemingly been shelved and forgotten about. Nokia Power User thinks otherwise, having found a recent Nokia Technologies job advertisement on LinkedIn.
It says the successful candidate will need to develop algorithms to extract relevant details from noisy data and will then have to quantify the quality of their results. The interesting part is the quantification will take place "both from your own algorithms, but also from datasets that come from a variety of wearable devices."
That doesn't necessarily mean anything on its own but it does show Nokia is recruiting people with knowledge of wearables. If it is working on reviving what was once "Moonrakerm," it would be entering another crowded market and joining the likes of Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft.
It's certainly interesting times at Nokia. Far from the dead company many had envisioned after Microsoft's acquisition completed, Nokia seemingly has made money from the HERE deal and invested it into creating some all-new and hopefully innovative products.
It's probable on July 28 that the details of the HERE deal will be revealed and possible that an announcement will be made regarding Nokia's hardware manufacturing partner for its next range of smartphones, perhaps including the release of a successor to the Nokia N1 tablet. With rumours of VR headsets and smartwatches being in the works, there may be more to the event than is visible at first glance.
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