Tuesday, 8 May 2012

City Lens, Nokia has lost the plot.

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This 'crisp clean' blonde spokesperson can not hide just how pathetic this app is.  Nokia is trying to present a Layar ripp off as new technology.  IPhone and Android users have had this kind of functionality, with far more features, for 5 years now.  This is such a basic part of the Google/Apple mobile web experience one can only wonder if Nokia is simply trying to sell to the utterly clueless about Web 3.0.

Some notes after years of testing this stuff.

Augmented reality views don't work because of a combination of the jerkiness of holding a screen up to the world combined with the social awkwardness of using it.  One time while testing augmented reality I was confronted by a teen male who wanted to know why I was filming him.  Saying 'I am just using augmented reality' really didn't seem like a good option.  Augmented reality just does not work and no one uses it.

The list view is vulnerable to gaming and inevitably becomes just a popularity contest.  In order to be ranked in lists your a venue needs to be popular, so sites like Google, Yelp and Foursquare inevitably tell you what you already know.  An idea geo-search tool will tell you what you don't know or can't find.

Map views are actually disturbing in how bad they are.  The problem is the feast or famine factor in social life.  Our world is generally made up of places packed full of so many venues or empty.  Thus the map shows either a crowded cluster of places or empty space.  Also the pins on maps UI really tells you nothing at all about the nature of the place.

There is still nothing like walking around to get a fell for an area.  After walking around the next best is talking to people who know an area.  After that search of reviews online for areas and places is very rich. These three modes of learning about place as yet are not captured in any geo-spatial tool that we have reviewed.

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