Nokia City Lens: Too Little, Too Late
While companies who have been in the AR mobile industry for several years have moved away from location based augmented reality in favour of natural feature tracking and image recognition. Nokia seem to be taking the mind boggling reverse approach.
The big 3 augmented reality browsers, junaio, Layar and Wikitude all cut their teeth with location based AR but now all 3 have taken the next step and moved on to providing interactive print. You know the type of scenario where a user is able to point a mobile device at an image such as a magazine article and interact with related video or 3D content. Nokia on the other hand were first to market some years back with the cutting edge ‘Point and Find’ application. An application that was way head of its time providing visual search functionality. Using Point and Find the user was able to point their Symbian phone at a movie poster and the image would instantly be recognized taking the user to a webpage where they could learn more about the movie (or other content).
Given Nokia’s history with AR you have to wonder why as the AR world has move away from using location based AR, Nokia has decided that it’s the future. Personally, if I was pushing a mobile platform to compete with Android and iOS I would have been more ambitious with an AR offering, because at most, this has put WP7 on par with iOS as it was 4 years ago.
Is this a good move for Nokia?
Nokia City Lens shown in the video below will be available for WP7 device.