Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nokia Wants To Connect Physical Objects With Camera Phone Using "Point Find"

There is no doubt, Physical World Connection is heating up in a big way.

The ability to scan or click on any type of physical world hyperlink (barcode, image, sound) will have a profound impact on the mobile space.

Nokia has already started offering the ability to create and scan 2d codes (mobile codes). Now they want to introduce image recognition using a camera phone.

Look at what has happened with the image recognition players recently.

Last year Google acquired image and facial recognition player NevenVision.

Microsoft's Lincoln is their own image recognition application that lets people search the Internet on their cell phones using a camera instead of a keypadMicrosoft image recognition.

A year ago image recognition player Mobot was acquired by a mobile marketing company for approximately $10m. Visionary Innovations was instrumental in what was called, "The Marketing Wedding of the Year".Mobot

From Red Herring Nokia To Offer Physical World Connection

"What if people could click on objects in the real world in much the same way they click on text, pictures, and icons on the Web? That seemingly sci-fi scenario could soon come to pass if Nokia has its way.

The cell phone giant plans to launch an advertising service next year that will use pattern-recognition technology to let people point camera phones at cars, movie posters, and other objects and click to get various information. A person might, for example, use what Nokia is calling its Point&Find service to take a picture of a CD cover and then, once the image has been matched in a database, buy and download tracks via a site on the mobile Internet.

The company is currently looking for partners in advertising, media, and retailing to take part in trials it hopes to start in various parts of the world in August, Philipp Schloter, senior business development manager at Nokia’s Palo Alto, California, research center, told Red Herring. The aim is to launch a commercial service in 2008, Mr. Schloter said. Initially Point&Find will work only with Nokia phones, but the company says it intends to make the service available for use on any phone using the Symbian operating system.

The Nokia system is not without precedents. In Europe, posters and print ads carry codes people can type in to phones as text messages to get more product information.

Point&Find works using the same sorts of pattern recognition techniques developed for security applications such as retinal scanning. Nokia acquired its technology when it bought Silicon Valley startup Pixto in April."

Interesting quote:

Niek van Veen, associate analyst at Forrester Research, said Point&Find has potential. Anything that makes it easier for consumers to use mobile Internet services is good, he said. But the technology’s success or failure will ultimately depend on the end user’s experience. When he’s tried camera phone and barcode based systems, he’s quite often encountered problems. “Usually it’s [just] the light level,” he said, but this kind of uncertainty is unsettling for consumers. “If it is going to be really successful, it has to work straight out of the box.”

And here's a quote last week from HookCode on why they chose Nextcode's ConnexTo's platform for their mobile code scanning solution.

"mCode and the ConnexTo decoder were engineered for mobile phone optics.
With other codes, you have to hold the camera just right, in the right light, because they were made to be scanned by that laser thing at the grocery store - not your mobile phone"

The ability to use your camera phone to connect physical objects to the Internet (Physical World Connection) is coming fast and in many forms.


Dean Collins said...

I think the issue with 'object' recognition will always be processing power required to determine the object, I mean if google gets hit with a 'keyword' request 10,000 times a second no big deal but hit them with an un-identified poster, photo of logo, building image etc more than once a second and thats going to start chewing up serious processing power.

Though if you check out the work Microsoft are doing with Seadragon-



and you can see it's not beyond the realms of possibility.

I just think it can be done easier and better using QR codes from a standardised soiftware application that anyone can build applications to leverage off.

Dean Collins

Zec said...

Something along this line should be inside iPhone as a product of Apple and Google collaboration.

If that's not the case, then Google doesn't wants to be Apple partner ( all things ) and hide it from them.

Google aquaried Neven Vision which had a long time ago iScout product, exactly very much the same as Nokia is trying to do.

If Apple don't do it know, it is clear to me that Apple doe not understand mobility.

As we know, camera is not that advanced, but we could be still hearing some surprises...I wonder...