Microsoft’s cancelled Nokia McLaren prototype with 3D Touch


Back in 2014, Microsoft was working on its own version of 3D Touch, well ahead of Apple’s 3D Touch implementation with latest iPhones. Microsoft’s 3D Touch was reportedly being tested on a prototype device named McLaren, before the Redmond-based company decided to abandon its plans to focus on Windows 10instead. Now Windows Central got their hands on with the device and has reviewed it. Nokia McLaren runs Windows Phone 8.1, and the hardware specification won’t blow away your mind.Nokia McLaren’s design puts it right in between Lumia 1020 and Lumia 925, according to Windows Central. It had a 5.5-inch display, and was powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset, 2 GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. A specification that we find in budget smartphones these days, but the trick here was its 3D touch sensing technology.As Windows Central reports, Nokia McLaren came with unconfirmed projected capacitive touch technology. The technology allowed the device to anticipate the next interaction of user and exposed live tiles accordingly. The video demonstration by Windows Central shows Nokia McLaren was capable of detecting how user held the device, and thus changed orientation. The technology still sounds way ahead of the curve.Nokia’s Glance feature similarly anticipated user behaviour to display contents on the screen. However, the 3D touch implementation is a full blown version of that very idea. The implementation here shows manipulating the onscreen tiles using gesture.For record, the 3D Touch implementation on Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus also offers quick shortcuts to frequent actions from within an app. Windows Central further notes that Nokia McLaren’s capactive touch display technology could be used to silence the device by gripping it or answer incoming calls by waving your hand.Nokia McLaren’s conceptual features definitely sound exciting, but it would have been great only in 2014 and not 2016. However its not all over for this concept. Microsoft, which bought Nokia in 2014, could bring back a similar feature to its next rumoured Surface phone. The company’s research division demoed a pre-touch feature recently which could debut on smartphones soon.On the other hand, Nokia is staging a smartphone comeback. The company has tied up with Finland-based HMD global for manufacturing Nokia-branded Android handsets. Nokia, once a dominant force in mobile business, is trying to win back consumers with its trademark design language and build quality.While Microsoft bought Nokia’s Devices business, the Redmond-based software major didn’t buy the Nokia’s patents outright. Nokia’s patents acquired by Microsoft are still under terms of license for 10 years, which also means Nokia can definitely make a turnaround device running Android, and state of the art hardware specifications.With most smartphones looking more or less similar in terms of design and specs, Nokia can make a comeback with its distinctive brand identity and build quality that can withstand several drops.

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