If you start seeing people pointing their Nokia camera phones at books, product packaging and other print materials, it's not that they have some weird cell phone-related tic. More than likely, they're using the Thrrum Visual Browser for Cameraphone Search.
The browser lets users point the camera in their phones at objects of interest and get relevant information, product prices and more, right on their handset. Mountain View, Calif.-based 23half, which makes the software, just announced that the app will be available for select Nokia Nseries phones, including the N73, N73ME, N95 and N95-3. It's also supported on a number of Sony Ericsson models.
The Thrrum Visual Browser software can be downloaded from Thrrum.com. The software costs $5.99 and includes the accompanying Cameraphone Search service.
The Thrrum Visual Browser isn't the first application to wed visual recognition technologies and information search in the context of mobile phones. Fujitsu has created software that links product images taken with a camera phone to Web sites, videos or other advertisements. That technology is currently deployed in Japan as part of a partnership between Fujitsu and the country's largest mobile operator, NTT DoCoMo.