Ever since the release of the Nokia X, Nokia has been taking a more keen interest in the world of Android. We’ve heard that there Nokia HERE maps application would be coming to Android at some point and while there is still no date set for when we might be able to use that as our primary map source, Nokia has just announced that they’re opening up the SDK for HERE maps, which Android developers will now be able to take advantage of so they can work some of the LiveSight features into their own applications. LiveSight for those who are unaware is Nokia’s augmented reality software that they use for HERE maps, which allows for detailed information about certain places to come up on screen when you have the camera pointed at them.
While LiveSight features may be new to Android thanks to the now open HERE maps SDK from Nokia, the idea behind and the basics of how LiveSight works is not new to the platform. There have been many augmented reality apps to hit the Play Store before, like Layar for example. Layar was an app that was made available on the Android Market,(yes I said Android Market, because that’s how old this app is)around the release of the original Mytouch from HTC on T-mobile’s network. The app basically opened up your camera and would feed you detailed information about the places around you almost like a live map.
Nokia states that with the release of the new LiveSight API being released(which is fully integrated into the HERE SDK), app developers will be able to make their own apps using LiveSight and grab the point of interest information from HERE or any other geo-located data source. Nokia uses a “beer-finder” app as an example to envision what developers may come up with, and while that is a fantastic idea and we hope some developer takes on that task, think about an application that lets you find the nearest cafes and coffee shops. Using the LiveSight API, a developer could make it so that any individual looking to get their daily caffeine fix could use it to track down the nearest place to grab a cup all with a visual search just by pointing their phones camera in any given direction.