“People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia’s location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world,” said Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop, in the press release. “Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service.”
To further extend its location services, Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand. Based on HTML5, it will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple’s App Store in the coming weeks.
Nokia further announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring new location experiences to the Firefox OS. Nokia plans to debut a mobile Web version of HERE Maps for the new Firefox OS next year. The companies are working together to give people the best mapping experience on Firefox OS.
Nokia also demonstrated an Android OS-based reference application and announced plans for the availability of a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in early 2013. This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia’s leading content.
To advance the 3D capabilities of HERE, Nokia announced the planned acquisition of Berkeley, Calif. company earthmine. The company’s reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of HERE’s 3D map making capabilities. Nokia expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012.
“Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world,” said Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand, in the press release. “That’s why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world’s most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today.”
As part of its announcement, Nokia introduced LiveSight(TM), a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world. LiveSight(TM) provides the most precise and intuitive augmented reality experience and uses a phone’s camera viewfinder to make discovering the world as easy as lifting up a phone. Nokia City Lens, which was developed exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices, is the first application providing a LiveSight-enabled experience.
“Establishing a new brand is the right move for Nokia in the map and location business. Nokia’s assets in this space are world class. We believe mapping and location will be increasingly important to developing next generation devices and services across a wide array of segments,” said Crawford Del Prete, Executive Vice President and Head of worldwide research at IDC, in the press release.