New York — In an attempt to keep pace with the advancing web frontier, and to demonstrate its seriousness about the success of its latest Lumia devices, Nokia is jumping in bed with AOL today, touting a “first-of-its-kind” augmented reality feature, which permits users to find movie theaters and showtimes nearby by glancing through theaters, movie posters, and times that appear overlaid on a local map.
The newly unleashed app for Windows Phone by AOL dubbed Entrance, which will serve as an entertainment hub for Nokia’s Lumia smartphone lineup, was built as part of a collaboration between AOL and Nokia that will see AOL’s stable of entertainment focused properties like Moviefone, Huffington Post Entertainment, and AOL Music. The release came shortly after Nokia unveiled its new Lumia lineup of smartphones for Windows Phone 8 — the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820.
“Augmented reality, live streaming music and movie trailers are the perfect use case to exhibit the capabilities of both the Lumia smartphones and AOL’s Mobile development team,” David Temkin, AOL’s senior vice president of mobile and mail, said in a statement.
In fact, it has been built with innovation in mind, the app’s linked interface allows users to explore connections between content without the need to launch another app. Besides, marquee properties such as AOL Music, Moviefone, and The Huffington Post Entertainment will be launched into a one-stop shop for the latest movie, music, and celebrity news, as well as free music album streaming and movie ticketing.
More interestingly, Entrance seems like any other entertainment hub app. Holding up the Nokia Lumia will display all the theaters in your vicinity alongside a list of the films being shown at each location. It also lists when the next showtime for each movie is alongside the average price of a ticket.
“Entrance by AOL leverages the depth of AOL’s content, whilst exhibiting the unique and differentiated experiences partners can bring to Nokia Lumia smartphones. With groundbreaking features such as Augmented Reality, personalized and contextual Live Tiles and beautiful app design, enabled through the rich Windows Phone UI, we believe Nokia consumers will love this exclusive one stop shop for entertainment.” said Mark Fletcher, Director, Global Partnering & Application Development, Nokia.
It is by far one of the most impressive uses of augmented reality that I have seen. “Entrance exhibits what is possible when you combine great content with an elegantly designed, incredibly fast handset,” he said.
Apparently, this association seems suggestive of a bigger partnership between AOL and Microsoft, but Sol Lipman, VP of Mobile First for AOL, informed WebProNews that is not the case. He states that AOL is “exploring how to best leverage the Windows 8 platform and our content.” He also said that Microsoft’s “distributions channels are of interest to AOL.”
Among other things, SHOUTcast Radio integration brings more than 55,000 global radio stations to your smartphone, and AOL Music and CD Listening Party (CDLP) provide early exclusive access to new albums and bands.
The new app is currently available to download for free in the Windows Phone Marketplace.