Nokia has just done a very unusual thing: it invites users to effectively customize an element of smartphone hardware based on their personal needs.
The Finnish company presented a gift to more aggressive fans on Friday, announcing the release of the so-called \"3d-
The printing development kit of the rear shell of the Lumia 820 mobile phone, namely 3DK.
Here is the description of John Kneeland, Marketing Manager, Nokia community and developer: \"Our Lumia 820 has a removable enclosure that users can replace with Nokia --
Make the case of different colors, special reinforced case with extra impact and dust protection, and increase the height-
End Lumia 920 to mid-range 820.
\"These are great cases for the vast majority of Nokia Lumia 820 customers and a great choice.
In addition to that, we will release 3D templates, case specifications, recommended materials and best practices --
People who are proficient in 3D printing
need to print their own custom-built Lumia 820 case.
\"At least so far, this makes Nokia unique among the major handset manufacturers.
Yes, there are a lot of 3D.
For example, print a schematic for an iPhone case using Apple\'s official specs.
However, they are not part of the iPhone.
What Nokia is doing here is inviting some type of user to build the components of its product.
In doing so, the company is actively moving forward with its historical process of opening up-you know, it was very keen to open up before Microsoft worked together, when it tried to speed up the opening up of the Symbian platformsourcing it.
This is all a software issue and Nokia is not in time to release the code, which makes things a mess.
This is a hardware issue and Nokia is right to take the lead in this.
Keep in mind that the Lumia smartphone runs the closed Windows Phone platform-
Nokia has sacrificed openness in software by working with Microsoft rather than Google.
By releasing 3DK (
By the way, a neat term)
The company is re-introducing the customisation of hardware and has the potential to stimulate a whole new ecosystem that could actually feed back to its own internal development efforts.
Nokia is effectively outsourcing its rapid prototyping technology to its customers.
As Kneeland said: \"You want a waterproof, glowingin-the-
Dark cell phone with bottle
Bottle opener and solar charger?
Someone can build it for you
Or you can print it yourself.
\"But there is no other aspect of this mentioned by Kneeland.
If you think a large adoption of 3D printing is inevitable-whether it\'s through all the people who have their own 3D printers, or more likely to pay by using 3D locally --
Print shops-as a result, more and more people will begin to dismantle and replace static components of various devices, such as smartphones.
If this happens, then many less skilled art practitioners will start fiddling with these devices with inappropriate parts.
Nokia\'s 3DK version will reduce the risk of customizing the Lumia 820 phone case, making it more likely that they will remain satisfied with the overall product experience.
It\'s like releasing a reliable SDK for hardware only, a smart move on many levels.
The story was previously published on GigaOM.