Nokia Point & Find technology to find wider usage

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A recent post of the Nokia Beta Labs blog indicates that Nokia will be discontinuing its augmented reality test-bed application - Nokia Point and Find. However it goes onto say that the underlying augmented reality (and visual search) technology will be incorporated into "the future of key experiences like Maps and Search". The technology may also become available to third party developers, presumably through a service API or similar provision.

Nokia have not specified any details on the future plans for the technology, but notes that we will starting to see initial "efforts become a reality... during the coming months". In mapping augmented reality has the potential to be one of the key bridging technologies between the digital map and the real world (e.g. the augmented reality overlay). Visual search may have even more potential, given its intuitive usage mode, which is close to the existing patterns of human behaviour when searching or exploring in the real world. 

From Nokia Beta Labs:

As an outcome of our beta service, we learned many things about how to continue delivering pioneering experiences to excite and delight our consumers and publishers.  Subsequently, we have made decisions to integrate Point & Find’s underlying visual search and AR technology in a way where consumers can access it as part of their core device and service experience . . . as in the future of key experiences like Maps and Search .  During the coming months you will see these efforts become a reality.  If you’re a developer, you might even be able to build apps with augmented reality capabilities stemming from Point & Find and publish them to the Ovi Store.

As a result of this change the Nokia Point and Find application will be removed from Ovi Store by the end of this month. Shortly afterwards the server side elements of the service, which are required to use the application, are likely to be switched off.

Nokia Point & Find has won a number of technology awards for innovation and was used in last summer's Conspiracy for Good as an augmented reality gaming tool. It was made available as a stand alone application, but such technology is really about creating new ways to input information into and interact with your mobile device. As such it makes sense for its technology to mature into a service platform, which can be used by multiple applications and services, rather than a stand alone tool.