Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Nokia’s City Lens Brings Augmented Reality to Windows Phone (Video)

Seeing the new Lumia phones at Nokia’s booth at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show was interesting, but what caught my eye was one of the apps running on some of the devices.

Nokia was showing Nokia City Lens, a program from its labs that is among the first augmented-reality apps I’ve seen running on Windows Phone.

Microsoft’s phone platform did not initially provide access to the camera app and other features needed to make the app a reality. Support for such programs came with the Mango update released last fall.

City Lens combines map and points-of-interest data with what is seen in the camera’s viewfinder to show what is nearby, and in which direction. The program is a labs project for now, but the company is planning a beta next month.

Along with its hardware, Nokia is counting on software to help it stand out from rivals. The first crop of Nokia phones come with the company’s own Drive app for turn-by-turn directions, as well as a unique-to-Nokia ESPN app.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus