Nokia, LG turning to augmented reality

Handset makers are increasingly looking to use "augmented reality" technology to give an edge to their smartphone applications and services. LG has said it will pre-load an augmented reality application into its newest smartphone, and Nokia is strongly hinting that the technology could find its way onto its devices as well.

The technology, which is still in early stages of adoption, overlays a user's view of the real world with 3-D graphics, giving them a real-time, interactive way of accessing spatial information. What that means is that a customer can point their camera at a building, for example, and get information about it and what might be on sale inside of it.

LG's latest smartphone running Google's Android platform, the LG-LU2300, will come pre-loaded with the technology when the device is released in South Korea in the second quarter. Additionally, Nokia's senior vice president for smartphones, Jo Harlow, said the company might look to incorporate augmented reality as a way to build on its own services offerings, such as Ovi Maps.

"Well I think what I get excited about and that you can see on the horizon are the types of things that really enhance the services that we're offering, the kinds of things that enhance the maps experience in the areas of augmented reality," she said during an interview with Nokia Conversations, the company's official blog. "You can see how those kinds of technologies really make that just a fantastic experience for consumers."

Nokia has dabbled with augmented reality before. Last year, the company formed a research collaboration framework agreement with the University of Southern California to study the technology.

For more:
- see this Engadget post
- see this Yonhap News article

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