As Nokia prepares for its big coming out party this Wednesday, they released another “leak” which not so cryptically hints at their plan to make augmented reality mobile apps a major selling point for their new line of smartphones. The leak comes at the end of a long line of “leaks” as Nokia tries to maximize hype, this time in the form of a short video clip.
The clip shows a young woman strolling down a city street when an ad promoting a local shoe store pops up along her route. It ends with tomorrow’s date displayed on the screen—not coincidently the same date planned for the next batch of Nokia new releases to be unveiled. In case anyone was left on the edge of their seat, Nokia did later release another video showing the same woman buying what looked to be a great pair of shoes.
Nokia’s shoe shopping narrative seems to suggest they hope their augmented reality app, City Lens will be a major component of their new phones. City Lens itself has been out for a few months in beta version, and it allows users the ability to obtain information about the world around them by using the phone’s camera. Simply point the phone at a city block, and the app overlays the real-time image with everything from contact information to local deals. Essentially, the program acts like a Google Maps or a Yelp, except the “cheap taco shop” search results are displayed over your field of vision (as long as you’re willing to walk around holding your smartphone in front of you).
Nokia hopes that being a major player in augmented reality mobile apps will help Windows grab a bigger slice of the smartphone market. For augmented reality apps like City Lens to really take off, they’ll have to be fast enough for users to prefer it over something like google maps. Advertisements could be another issue, as no one wants their urban stroll littered with spam or even deals they don’t care about.
Time will tell as to whether apps like City Lens become the new norm, but regardless, it looks like Nokia plans on making a big splash at their product premiere tomorrow.