Nokia is developing new technology which could reinvent the user manual as we now know it.
Combining a mobile phone's camera with image recognition software, location tracking technologies and improved processing speeds, Nokia intends to provide users with "augmented mobile reality". The goal is to enable anyone to look at the real world through their camera-phone and virtually augment it with information based on parameters such as where they are or what they're looking at. Nokia suggests "you will for example be able to look at a particular building and get all sorts of information about it; or a given shoe model at a shoe store".
The technology works by simply pointing to an object with your handset's camera and either taking a picture of it that is used to apply intelligent pattern matching technology or moving your camera around and obtaining a real-time match of the image. The phone will retrieve this information from the handset or from servers via the Internet. The network uses location tracking technology to know where you are.
In addition to providing tourists with information on building facades and shoppers details on retail products, this concept could also be used to provide users and maintenance engineers with user assistance and instructional information.
There could be a time where you open up the bonnet of your car, point your mobile phone at the engine to (a) identify which part is which and (b) call up instructions on how to remove and replace a particular part.
The technology was first demonstrated by Nokia in October 2007, although it could be a number of years before it is included in publicly available handsets.
Labels: technical communication, user manuals