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Startup looks to the cloud to make dumb phones smart [video]

Nokia (NOK) had big plans to bring a more capable platform to emerging markets but three consecutive billion-dollar quarterly losses forced the company to discontinue development of its secret OS. The Finnish’s vendor’s plans to bring smartphone functionality to developing markets at rock-bottom prices remain unclear, but a startup is stepping into the space with an innovative solution that could have a huge impact on the market.

Instead of working on new phones and new operating systems, Australia-based startup biNu has an even better solution: Make every phone a smartphone.

BiNu’s like-named mobile solution consists of a Java-based app that is compatible with a wide range of dumb phones that works alongside a cloud-based element. Billed as “your smartphone in the cloud,” the app essentially acts as a window. Users can perform a variety of functions and even add new “apps” within the biNu portal, but all of the heavy lifting related to the various functions performed by apps is handled on remote servers — only the resulting data is transmitted to a user’s device.

“BiNu is a mobile software platform built for speed,” the company says on its website. “Phones on 2G (GPRS / EDGE) networks experience near instant response times from internet apps and services such as Twitter, Wikipedia, news, live sports scores, weather etc.” BiNu announced earlier this month that it raised $2 million in Series A funding.

A video showcasing bINu’s app follows below.

[Via Technology Review]

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.