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Nokia debuts "Point to Buy" technology

Nokia has announced that it is working on a camera that will allow its users to take a snap of an item they'd like to buy, look for the best prices and then get it delivered within 24 hours.

"Point and Find (opens in new tab)" is one of the projects developed by Nokia's Recent Centre in Helsinki and has been in gestation for five years.

The boffins reckon that it might take three more years before Nokia releases it to the masses.

The technology (opens in new tab) uses a special picture recognition software inside the phone to process the photo and dispatch via the net to a search engine which then looks out for the best prices online.

The user then only needs to confirm whether they want to purchase the item or not.

James Waterworth, of the Nokia Research Centre, said: “This is one of the concepts we have developed and it’s called ‘augmented reality’, adding “We believe that because your phone is very clever and it can search for something with keyboard text, the next step is to search using a photo taken with the camera."

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.