Nokia has rebranded Nokia maps under the brand name HERE as it moves to extend its location services across multiple operating systems and devices.
The manufacturer announced the imminent launch of a maps application for Apple's iOS at a media event today (13 November). It also announced plans for the acquisition of 3D technology company earthmine and a strategic partnership deal with Mozilla to develop mapping apps for the Firefox OS under the HERE brand.
The new brand brings together Nokia’s mapping and location services on a cloud-based platform.
Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop said: ‘People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia's location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world.’
He added: ‘We can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia. As a result, we believe that more people benefit from and contribute to our leading mapping and location service.’
The maps app for iOS is based on HTML5, and will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions. The application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple's App Store in the coming weeks.
Nokia announced a strategic partnership with Mozilla at the launch of HERE. The partnership aims to bring location apps to the Firefox OS. Nokia said it plans to debut a mobile Web version of HERE Maps for the new Firefox OS next year.
Jay Sullivan, Mozilla vice president of products said: ‘Mozilla is a leader in HTML5, building the Web as a platform for developing compelling applications, and location is a key part of that platform.’
He added: ‘We are excited to work with Nokia as the combination of Firefox OS and HERE's location platform provides rich possibilities for mobile application developers to create amazing experiences for users.’
Nokia is also planning a HERE software development kit for Android OEMs in early 2013. This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia's content.
The manufacturer is also set to acquire earthmine with the intent on developing its reality capture and processing technologies to become integral parts of HERE's 3D map making capabilities.
Nokia said it expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012.
Michael Halbherr, executive vice president of location and commerce and responsible for the HERE brand said: ‘Maps are hard to get right - but location is revolutionizing how we use technology to engage with the real world.
‘That's why we have been investing and will continue to invest in building the world's most powerful location offering, one that is unlike anything in the market today.’
Editor: Carol Millett