US: Nokia is taking one more step to push its mapping and devices services as a standalone business. The company has announced that it would be rebranding all of its Nokia-branded mapping and navigation services as “HERE” going forward.
The Here suite comes pre-installed on the Lumia 520 and includes HERE Maps, HERE Drive and HERE Transit — a public transport guide “that you can use even in unfamiliar surroundings” Nokia’s design chief Marko Ahtisaari said. You can pin your home location on it as well — and use that as the base for all the data. “These personal experiences are meant to help you spend more time engaging in the world around you rather than navigating your smartphone,” he said.
Elop noted that Nokia will begin integrating the Here suite into non-Nokia phones later this year to help enhance the data. “The growing scale of the platform is beginning to be recognised by more and more partners,” said Elop at the press conference. Those include Amazon and (of course) its OS partner Microsoft.
The company is also adding more functionality and integration into HERE, by integrating it with Sight — an augmented reality service that lets you take pictures of places to help you initiate maps and navigation functionalities. “We want to bring Sight and Location to more and more applications,” he noted.
And it also introduced a wireless charging holster that can be used in cars — which again link up with the car navigation’s capabilities. Nokia has been moving closer to in-car navigation services, with its most recent deal with Toyota Motors in Europe to embed the technology in its connected cars.
The rebranding move is a sign of how Nokia continues to keep advancing its mapping business as a standalone effort, and as a revenue stream that may grow through partnerships with others, while it continues to exist as a suite of services for Nokia devices themselves. It could also be a sign that so far that effort has not had as much traction as Nokia would have hoped — perhaps because of the association with Nokia.
Source: Tech Crunch