Nokia noted long ago that in some cultures, directions were given and followed using landmarks and physical properties of the surrounding land rather than street signs or road names. While Nokia’s intended service relies on people taking pictures of and tagging these landmarks – something unlikely to earn mass appeal until something like Android hits the market – Enkin simply thumbtacks “digital billboards” to points of interest as you navigate.
Enkin is a company formed by two German Students (Max Braun, Rafael Spring) who are currently at Osaka University studying Robotics Research. They call their project a “link between maps and reality.” These two geeks beat the pants off of Nokia’s software, which looks more like a 1980s movie trying to predict the future.
The preview video is simple… but don’t all the best applications start that way? It seems like a pretty useful little application that could have a very promising future on Android. My one criticism would be that when trying to do some specific tasks such as getting driving directions, the text seemed small and the operation tedious. Perhaps there is a better way to base the navigational infrastructure?
Enkin was entered into the Android Developer’s Challenge so we’ll see how it goes! Goodluck Enkin boys – very nice work!