Nokia debuts its own 'augmented reality' app

At CTIA Wireless '09 this morning, Nokia unveiled Point & Find, a service currently in beta that uses a phone's camera to identify objects and present relevant information on screen.

Point and Find combines real-time image processing and recognition technology with the phone's data connection and GPS location to link the camera's real-life images to related digital content and services. Barcode scanning has also been integrated.

The beta version focuses on cross-promotion of television and movie content. For example, if the camera is pointed at a movie poster, the phone then grabs GPS coordinates and lists showtimes for that movie in the nearest theaters.

The service is yet another in the increasingly popular field of Augmented Reality. At the Consumer Electronics Show two years ago, Intel demonstrated a concept device that could capture images with its built-in camera and overlay pertinent information on the display, such as restaurant menus, foreign language translations, and direction and orientation.

Consumer versions of the same concept began to appear last year, and Nokia's Point & Find is the first incarnation of the technology to sport a mobile phone maker's brand.

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