Nokia says HERE is the first location cloud with the world’s accurate maps and better location experiences over multiple screens and operating systems.
According to Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop,“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.”
Elop adds that with HERE, Nokia can extend its 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems beyond Nokia and as well benefit more people using them or building them.
HERE is not just for Nokia.
Nokia HERE has a HTML5 application for iOS with offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The firm has also partnered with Mozilla to have the mapping services on Firefox OS with a planned mobile web version of HERE Maps for Firefox OS next year.
Speaking during the launch, Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Vice President of Products said,“Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the Web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform.” Sullivan added, “We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and HERE’s location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users.”
For developers a HERE SDK for Android will be available early 2013. The firm also demonstrated an Android OS location application.
To come up with better mapping products, Nokia sees the need for technology and is in its final stages to acquire Earthmine, a 3D Berkeley, Calif. based firm. The acquisition will be concluded before the end of this year.
Showing on how Earthmine’s 3D technology is significant, Michael Halbherr, executive vice president of Nokia’s HERE said, “Maps are hard to get right – but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world.”
Halbherr added, “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 also introduced LiveSight™, a highly accurate, 3D technology for precise and intuitive augmented reality experience. LiveSight™ uses a phone’s camera viewfinder and is the technology behind the Nokia City Lens exclusively for Nokia Lumia devices.
Nokia however comes late in a field already dominated by Google Maps and joined recently by Apple Maps. mapIT and TomTom also play a significant role in development of location and mapping services.
Checking on my browser this morning, HERE has the direction of my whole city, off course not in detail but this is no mean feat for the Finnish phone maker. HERE could be Nokia’s announcement to the world that they are ready to diversify or do without their handsets,a lesson that could have helped Kodak had it embraced change.