Mobile Local Search through Augmented Reality, a Cool Nokia Protoype

nokialg.gifA Nokia research project might eventually lead to the introduction of augmented reality in your daily life through your wireless phone. Augmented reality is the combination of real-world elements and virtual reality. In this prototype, the phone is able to “identify restaurants, hotels, and landmarks and provide Web links and basic information about these objects on the phone’s screen. In addition, the system can also be used to find nearby friends who have phones with GPS and the appropriate software.”

Currently built using a Nokia 6680, it requires additional hardware: a global positioning system (GPS), an accelerometer to determine the orientation of the camera, and a compass. The camera scans its surroundings, software tries to find objects in a database and returns enhanced information when available.

“This capability becomes particularly compelling when people, as well as buildings, are incorporated into the database. If you have a GPS sensor in your mobile device and elect to share your location, people could “click on you to link to your blog.” “You could go to a football match and be able to see information on the players, or ball movement, or tactics by looking at the field with your device.”

At this time, Nokia has no plans to transform MARA into a commercial product. (via TechnologyReview.com)

What it means: as North America is years behind Europe and Asia in wireless Internet usage through cell phones, this seems like light-years away. But this is a very compelling user value proposition from a local search perspective. Any company who creates, owns or aggregates solid local information will want to discuss this with Nokia eventually. You want to be the source of the local content displayed on those mobile phones.

Harry says: This is too cool. Who needs video games?😉

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