Nokia today invited Windows Phone Central along to their UK offices in London to talk about HERE location services and to show off the new technology in the new fleet of vehicles. These mobile machines are tasked with keeping the data collected fresh and relevant, as well as adding yet more detail to services and apps that utilise HERE data.
Both Pino Bonetti, Social Media Lead at HERE, and Stuart Ryan, Director of Maps and Everyday Mobility, walked us through exactly what Nokia is doing with location services - much is already covered in the past and we're all more than aware of the HERE apps on Windows Phone. The company is certainly looking to surpass Google and other competitors.
What's interesting to note is how important location services is for Nokia as a business, especially with the devices and services division looking to move to Microsoft. HERE will be left with NSN (Nokia Solutions & Networks) and the patents team.
We've looked in the past at how Nokia is attempting to not only build on its services on mobile and desktop platforms, but also moving into the automobile industry. Partnerships have been formed with various car manufacturers for HERE services to be integrated into vehicles directly - just another way Nokia is attempting to bring location-based content to consumers.
The goal is to not only "map the world," but provide a service for consumers to use wherever they may be to better interact with surroundings.
New world-class map collection tools
We noted some shiny new vehicles above, and here's one of them. If you've seen a Nokia HERE car cruising down streets nearby, have you ever wondered exactly what is being collected?
The HERE vehicles collect 700,000 3D data points at any given time and store up to 140GBs worth of data in just 24 hours. This creates an exact digital replicate of the street level environment. You've got cameras, as well as on-board LiDAR for 3D and more. The vehicles can records street signs, business names and other details that are relevant to the experience. The data is then automatically extracted and stored for further use.
It's an impressive setup and is in part down to the acquisition of earthmine last November. This has helped Nokia further develop and improve the way the company collects and processes data, increasing the usefulness and capabilities of 3D. This new technology is being deployed on vehicles around the world in supported countries - 27 this year.
Some cool little details include the four cameras capturing 16.8MP (nearly 68 megapixels combined) and the LiDAR technology has an accuracy range of less than 2 centimetres. All this has enabled Nokia to effectively triple the amount of 3D street-level content available. It's going to be both interesting and exciting to see what Nokia will delve into post-acquisition of its devices division.
So there you have it, folks. Expect to see continued improvements made to the HERE service as a whole, as well as more detailed 3D content and relevant information to help you out in the big, bad world. Check out some more photos of the vehicle below.