This is the stuff of tomorrow — being tested and perfected today in the development labs of Nokia.
It is called “Point and Find,” and at the company’s annual developer event in Barcelona last week, an engineer helped me experience an even more compelling demonstration of the technology: I pointed a phone at a cinema poster advertising the upcoming Hollywood release, The Day the Earth Stood Still, which opens worldwide on Friday next. Image recognition software quickly identified the film as the current, that is, 2008 title (eliminating the 1951 film of the same name) and brought up on the display, a link to a trailer of the film, as well as a synopsis and cast list.
The phone had a built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) chip, which worked out where on earth I was standing, located the nearest multiplex that would be screening the film and linked me to the theatre’s booking system. I could reserve seats if I chose to!
Nokia’s Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo offers a new buzzword for this sort of service: So-Lo or Social Location. Technologies such as ‘Point and Find’ on our mobile phones, give each of us a new identity, he says. “Phones will figure out who we are and where we are — and lead us to the precise information we seek.”
‘Point and find’ can be a reality as early as next week, Nokia’s India-based vice-president Shiv Shivakumar promises.