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Nokia: touchscreens are next big thing

Expect Nokia to introduce more touchscreen-operated devices

Apple looks like its got it right with the iPhone : even Nokia believes touchscreens and optical sensors will be the next big thing in mobile phones.

"Optical sensors and touch will be the next big things," Tero Ojanpera, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia, has been reported by Reuters as saying. "I believe there will be a lot of innovation around these."

Touchscreens are starting to appear in growing numbers of mobile devices, from the forthcoming iPhone to the Prada Phone by LG , and has been implemented by Sony Ericsson on several Symbian UIQ-based devices. Nokia has yet to introduce a mainstream mobile phone using touchscreen technology.

Optical sensors can sense movements of a device and translate these into activating a function. Sony Ericsson introduced similar "Shake" movement-activated technology with its W910i Walkman phone , announced last week. Users can change music tracks simply by shaking the phone in a particular direction.

Ojanpera's comments came in Singapore, where he was speaking ahead of the CommunicAsia telecoms exhibition. Nokia today announced three new mid-range handsets, although none featured touchscreen or optical sensor technology.