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Out of Many, One In-Box

By Technology Review

November 29, 2010

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Nokia researchers are developing a universal in-box that collects messages and updates from different smartphone applications and organizes them in one location so users can see everything at once. The universal in-box resembles a normal email in-box, but the stream of messages can be emails, text messages, call logs, tweets, Facebook updates, or Flickr photos. "The universal in-box brings together all those communications into one place so the user does not need to check separate apps," says Nokia researcher Rafael Ballagas.

The system makes it easier for users to track and participate in conversations that involve different types of messaging and enables them to devote less thought to the communication medium and more to the people they are contacting, says Nokia researcher Tim Sohn.

The in-box runs on cloud software to keep from overworking a smartphone's computing and battery power. It features an aspect called Lenses, which creates a mini in-box that is specific to a certain group of people or topic. "You can create your own lenses for different points of interest, whether that's your high school friends or another community like your work contacts," Sohn says.

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