I’m rather late with this since it has been more than a month this was news. Busy, moving to Berlin, and other lame excuses. But better late than never.

You might recall a little youtube video I posted back in October of me demoing a prototype at a press event from Nokia. As promised, but slightly later than planned, my colleagues back in Helsinki actually launched (press release) the thing in a place in Helsinki called Kamppi. Kamppi is a shopping mall plus bus station in the center of Helsinki. About 100000 people pass through the building every day. Mostly commuters but also shoppers. There’s several floors with shops, restaurants, etc. It’s an ideal setting for trialing our system and my colleagues worked hard to get the shops in Kamppi on board.

By launching I mean that we opened kamppi.nokia.mobi, which is a mobile website, for the public. You can visit this with your desktop browser of course but the website is designed to be used from a mobile phone with a mobile browser. A broad range of browsers from different phone vendors is supported but for best results you need of course the latest and greatest from Nokia. You can actually use the website from anywhere in the world though admittedly it is a bit pointless to do so unless you are planning to visit Kamppi or are actually in Kamppi (or on your way to Kamppi).

The site we launched has actually less features then the stuff we demoed in October. The reason for this was a change in focus of the trial and not the technology. The trial is now focused on indoor maps, vouchers, shop pages, and ratings. We found that the other features we demoed in October were nice but also a bit confusing to users. They may be added back later on. But since I no longer work in Helsinki, it isn’t up to me. But I put a lot of work in getting this trial going. I helped build and design the software and many of the features and had lots of fun learning Python, Django, and a load of other stuff as well as re-acquainting myself with Apache Lucene, Java, and OSGI.

Some highlights of features I actually worked on/designed:

Additionally me and Jaakko Kyro have lead a team of developers to build this that was always changing, and other stuff, through nearly two years. During this time there were many internal demos, including one to our CEO, and external demos, e.g. at the Internet of Things Conference in 2008.

So, it’s really nice that this is finally out. Go and check it out!