The Nokia brand might not be as well known as it used to be, but that could change in the very near future. The company is hoping its established brand will smooth its entry into the growing wearables market, as it appears to be readying a number of wearable devices.
The company’s board of directors recently voted to amend the firm’s Articles of Association to expand the scope of business the firm can engage in to include the manufacture, marketing, and sale of consumer wearables and other electronics, among other products. The new Articles also refer to “health and wellbeing,” which likely coincides with the purposes of such wearable devices.
It appears that Nokia has been planning this for a while now because it was back in July that the Finnish company posted a job listing for a Senior Computational Biologist. This person will assist in developing algortithms to analyze physiological and biometric data received from consumers using a variety of wearable devices worldwide.
Then in August, Nokia posted two more job listings for the New Devices Product SW team. Wearables weren’t specifically mentioned, but the ad did mention that the SW team will be involved with products relating to health and wellbeing. Another interesting tidbit was that the job requirements mentioned Android, which is an indication that Nokia is planning on making Android Wear devices.
On top of all this, recent Nokia patents reveal a wearable band that captures health-related data from sensors, and another that has a display that can interpret gestures made by users whose hands are hovering over it.
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Nokia is likely to be the original design manufacturer (ODM), which means the company probably won’t be directly involved in the manufacturing process. Instead, these wearables will be produced by another manufacturer with a license to use the Nokia branding. This is exactly how the company is treating the smartphone business, at least until a related agreement with Microsoft lifts at the end of 2016.
Unfortunately we have no idea when to expect Nokia’s first wearables. Since actual devices haven’t leaked up to this point, it’s unlikely we will see anything before the second half of 2016.
Does a Nokia wearable excite you?