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Nokia Research Center Cambridge opens

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Advancing the vision of mobility while developing real-world applications, MIT and Nokia today announce the opening of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge.

The joint research facility, a collaboration between Nokia Research Center and MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), brings researchers and scientists from MIT and Nokia together to develop high-impact research to create the state of the art in communications technologies.

"Our mission is to explore and develop technologies that will be available in the marketplace in five to 10 years - not just novelties, but technologies that will see mass market demand from consumers and enterprises," said Bob Iannucci, head of Nokia Research Center. "With MIT's academic and research expertise, Nokia's mobility and technology leadership, and the fusion of some of the world's brightest minds, the Nokia Research Center Cambridge will provide a platform for delivering compelling new innovations."

The center is currently focusing its research on several projects, each part of a larger vision in which mobile devices become elements of an "ecosystem" of information, services, peripherals, sensors and other devices. These projects revolve around enhancing people's lives and productivity by enabling more intuitive interaction between individuals, machines and environments, and range from developing the underlying computer architecture to leveraging and extending the Semantic Web. Although not commercially available today, projects like those under way could likely become real-world applications within the next decade.

Specific projects include:

  • Project Simone addresses new ways to interact with your mobile device primarily using speech.
  • MobileStart provides a framework for task-oriented applications that interact via written language on the mobile device.
  • MyNet/UIA develops a way for different users to connect various devices to each other and across the Internet easily and securely.
  • Asbestos explores the use of new operating systems mechanisms for information flow control to prevent private information from being inadvertently shared or maliciously exposed.
  • SwapMe develops a platform for Semantic Web applications that are policy, preference and context aware.
  • ComposeMe provides mechanisms for verifying interoperability of Web services.
  • Armo explores new design methodologies and languages to enable the development of high-performance, energy-efficient hardware for mobile devices.

"Our collaboration with Nokia and the subsequent opening of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge is an exciting opportunity for all parties, including the CSAIL research team," said Professor Rodney Brooks, director of the MIT CSAIL Lab. "Not only do we have the opportunity to work on truly compelling research with Nokia's highest-caliber researchers, but -- because of Nokia's leadership in the mobile communications market -- we also have confidence that our joint research will likely be deployed throughout the world, ultimately having a positive impact on the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people."

Located five minutes from CSAIL's headquarters, the Nokia Research Center Cambridge will have approximately 20 researchers from MIT and 20 researchers from Nokia. Joint projects will be managed under the direction of a joint steering committee, and James Hicks from the Nokia Research Center has been named director of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge. Arvind, the Johnson Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT, will be the program manager for MIT/CSAIL.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 26, 2006 (download PDF).

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