Nokia Mapping a Future for Location-Based Mobile Services and Applications

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Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo discussed it in a recent interview broadcast by Finland’s Yle TV. Kallasvuo speaks more freely in Finnish, so I have translated: “(Our devices will handle) location information, social context, social place, where your friends are, where you are, where you are going to be. There’s also a calendar in your phone telling where you are going to be… This is new thinking. It has been extremely well received… I strongly believe in this. Absolutely. This is the location-based aspect that can be used with every service, not only with maps or navigation service.”

Nokia also researches indoor positioning, visual navigation, targeted advertising, and something they call ‘enhanced reality’. They use the mobile phone for navigation by enhancing GPS location data with images of landmarks.

“Over the next few years, the ways that people record, use, and communicate their personal data, including their location, will multiply and evolve. …We will be generating an increasing amount of data as our mobile phones add additional sensors and are made to convey more information about ourselves to the cloud,” the Nokia Research Center memo says.

Nokia is betting that this might be the Next Big Thing in innovation: mobile net, location-aware applications and services, Web 3.0. And bear in mind Nokia has a billion-plus users worldwide.

A Google executive recently told me that future growth in computing will come from mobile devices. The mobile phone already is a fully-featured computer. It can only get better.

But we all may lose some privacy. The Google executive says it’s all about how we trust the companies and each other. Each of us will have to decide how much he or she is willing to let the others know about his or her individual life. Nokia’s Chen addresses the challenge this way: “Privacy is a huge question. A silver-bullet solution does not exist. But the company (Nokia) will not release private data. We will not leave it possible we would use the data later.”

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