Nokia has announced a new partnership with Internet giant Mozilla, which includes the acquisition of 3D capture company earthmine. Introducing 'HERE', a cloud deployment that's planned to deliver "the world's best maps and location services and devices" to help make the mobile experience more personal while on the move.
Stephen Elop had the following to comment on the unveiling:
"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. 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."
Nokia is launching a maps application for iOS using the HERE brand (after being recommended by Apple), which will surely help out consumers who have been suffering through use of Apple's disastrous mapping solution. Based on HTML5, the new service will include offline capabilities, voice-guided navigation and public transport directions. It's scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks.
The Finnish company has also announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla to bring the location experiences to Firefox OS and plans to debut a mobile web version of HERE for the new OS next year. If Apple's iOS and Mozilla wasn't enough then behold more news with Nokia planning to support Android too.
With a location-based application in the works for Google's mobile platform, Nokia will make available a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in 2013. This will enable partners to create the location-based solutions for consumers to take advantage of. It's a clear sign that Nokia is moving into the services space as well as being a competitive mobile phone manufacturer.
3D capabilities of HERE will be improved on through the acquisition of California company earthmine. The company's reality capture and processing technologies will become integrated into HERE's 3D map generation capabilities. This transition is expected to be finalised by the end of 2012. Michael Halbherr, Executive Vice President of Location & Commerce and responsible for the HERE brand, had the following to add:
"Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world. 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."
Nokia still isn't finished with the announcements as the company has also revealed LiveSight, a technology based on a highly accurate, 3D map of the world. LiveSight will provide a more precise augmented reality experience, something Nokia has already begun working on with future Nokia Maps updates. Nokia City Lens is an example of an experience making use of LiveSight.
We're excited by the news of the rebranding, as well as the new technologies being deployed by Nokia to further enhance the experience of its Windows Phone range of handsets. The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 sports intuitive functionality that will welcome advanced mapping and location services.