Skip to main content

Nokia: Ovi Maps 'raises the bar' for sat-nav

Nokia aims to take sat-nav to the next level
Nokia aims to take sat-nav to the next level

Nokia's UK Managing Director Mark Loughran has told TechRadar that the arrival of Ovi Maps is far more meaningful than the 'bit of turn by turn navigation' offered by Google's US only-service.

Nokia's Ovi Maps is being rolled out to 10 devices right away with more to follow, offering a free sat nav service with local data from the likes of Lonely Planet, Michelin and Time Out.

When asked if Ovi Maps was a reaction to Google offering a turn-by-turn navigation service, Loughran pointed out that in purchasing NAVTEQ back in 2007, the company was setting in motion a vital strategy for its handsets for years to come.

Whole new bar

"That was us not choosing to partner with but to integrate a company, because these local point and contextual services are very important," said Loughran.

"Now we've announced something that completely surpasses a bit of turn by turn navigation. This is a whole new bar that we've set."

Of course, one of the key questions when phone manufacturers start offering satellite navigation for free is what happens to companies like TomTom or Garmin that specialise in this area.

Loughran insists that this is not Nokia's consideration, with their focus on their users.

"We haven't spent any time internally talking about [sat nav specialists]," he added. "What they've done is focused on the car whereas we have been optimising for a device you always have with you – whether that's in a car or walking around."

Augmented Reality

With the API and SDKs available to developers, Loughran is keen to see Ovi Maps evolve into exciting new arenas like augmented reality.

"There's all sorts of opportunity to take those bits of information and locally relevant content and turn it into something else," says Loughran. "That's part of the experience."

"What happens in two three four or five years time is very exciting. In five years the possibilities are very large – this is a very open platform and we're making it very easy for developers to partner with us and make sure that we offer a good user interface."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. He is a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere has been and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.