In the continuing battle to find a use for all that processing power in a modern mobile phone, Nokia has launched Point & Find, an application that uses image recognition to supply punters with goods on the basis of a photograph.
The new version, available in beta form for Nokia S60 devices, is available in the UK and US only, and comes with a loud disclaimer about stability. Initially the software will recognise images of movie posters, providing links to local showings, merchandise and other information, but the concept is flexible and could be applied to all sorts of things as Nokia demonstrated last year:
Software recognition of objects has been around for a while, but has struggled to find a killer application. Spotting groceries left, accidentally or otherwise, in a shopping trolley as it passes the till was one suggestion. Taking photographs of attractions to access tourist information has also been tried. Unfortunately, both lacked the revenue stream necessary to make a sensible business.
But there are revenue opportunities here - decisions about which merchandise to punt, or which cinemas get listed, can be influenced for cash. This application is still a long way off being a commercial product, but Nokia could get it embedded into a decent number of handsets, removing one of the barriers to adoption and with enough user support we could soon be taking photographs of all sorts of things while Nokia collects revenue from those supplying the data. ®