Nokia Mobile Entertainment Service
This was the first online mobile entertainment system and it was years ahead of its time. It was a very challenging project with so much to be presented in a couple of lines of text or a tiny graphic. The screens were 96x85 pixels in size which scrolled vertically and could only contain images up to 96x40. The processing power of the handset was less than a desktop computer from the 1970's. However the devices were always online, albeit at SMS data speed, and had a Java backend to do some light lifting.
With these impossibly tight limitations an entire entertainment service was created, with online registration, complete internationalisation, multiplayer games, multisession games, leaderboards, tournaments, email, buddy lists, monochrome animations and sound, push and SMS notifications, manual and automatic player matching.
Winner of the 2000 AMTA Achievement Award for Excellence, it really was a technological and user interface success. Unfortunately it only ever achieved a limited European rollout. When Nokia hit some financial hurdles it was nixed. I believe that if it had continued to be developed, with a corresponding advancement in features, it could have changed the world. In the very least it would have reduced the iPhones introductory innovation.
Shown here are the basic operational flowcharts with actual screen images to give some scope to the project. I am very proud of what was achieved in these dark ages of mobile development. Achievements which would not be matched functionally until the 3rd major revision of iOS, almost a decade later. View some retro user interface guidelines here
© Nokia Corporation 1999-2001