Quite a bit of the cool stuff that Nokia had up their sleeve for Nokia World was over shadowed by the N97 announcement. One such thing was the demo of ‘Point & Find’ that Nokia had setup. Point and Find is an upcoming service from Nokia that is quite in line with their vision that here’s a company that plans to ‘co-ordinate’ the world.
What this service plans to do is give you the ability to simply point the phone at an object and get information about it. A real world example would be simply pointing the camera at the Movie Poster and getting information such as the nearest cinema (via GPS), reviews of the movie, information about the cast and so on. Watching the video embedded below, you should be able to give an idea of the endless opportunities such a service has to offer.
In another post, James Burland has attempted to document the entire process:
I load up the Point and Find app on my N95 8GB, I then walk around town photographing important landmarks and buildings from various angles, tagging them as I go and adding knowledge to the photos in the form of voice, text, links, etc. The Point and Find application will then take my photos, my tagged ‘knowledge’ and a GPS location and upload them to Nokia’s secret Point and Find HQ. Once sat on Nokia’s servers this little packet of information will be convert into a kind of ‘reality tag’. By analysing my photos and photos of the same location taken by other users, the Point and Find server application can (using colour and shape recognition) create a highly compressed fingerprint of the scene. The reality tag then gets send back to me for inclusion in my ‘World’ and will also get stored on Nokia’s servers so that other Point and Find users can have be granted access to this tag.
The above is a very simplistic view from an individual point of view, so that its easy to understand what’s happening. From my understanding, unlike Indoor Positioning Nokia doesn’t plan to leave this to individuals. The entire PC based tagging system will be commercially available to companies who can then create their own guides, which individuals like you and me can then get hold off via Nokia.
When you actually want to use this service, you will need a guide like thing called a ‘World’ which contains those tags that will be downloaded to the handset and which will then be able to give you the information you need. Understandably this technology needs a lot of input and its actual success will depend on how quickly other companies, eager individuals(?), and others get on the job and create ‘Worlds’ that would open the doors to mass adoption.
This is exciting stuff, Nokia plans to launch this service with ‘Movie World’ and possibly a few others soon, I can’t wait. After this it will be upto businesses to take over. The demo has been given with a N95 8GB so we can hopefully rest assured that the technology will not be reserved for newer Nokias only.