Since its separation from its handset business, Nokia has gone on a personalization binge. Nokia’s now-core location-based services division, called Here, wants to create highly personalized maps that anticipate a user’s destinations and desires. To that end, Nokia is acquiring Seattle-based Medio Systems to help provide that context. Medio started out as a mobile search engine in 2006, but it abandoned the idea as Google came to dominate mobile as well as online search. Instead, it put its contextual search algorithms to work to create predictive analytics models. According to Here’s 360 blog, it’s the type of technology it can use to create maps that go beyond simple search and navigation and deliver “cognitive mapping” that understands the environment within a map and how the user wants to interact with it.
With its devices and services unit off its hands, Nokia is building up its mapping business. Following Microsoft’s €5.4bn acquisition of Nokia’s handset arm, the company has three businesses: patents and licensing arm Technologies, its networking unit NSN, and its mapping company Here. Nokia seems to have been turning its attention to the latter of late. After buying travel guide company Desti last month, it’s now purchased analytics company Medio Systems. Medio Systems, based in Seattle, gathers sensor and connected device data for useful information. That information will be integrated into Nokia’s mapping systems to help personalise maps and add context. “That could mean delivering individual restaurant recommendations to someone ready for lunch, giving drivers routes that match their driving style based on real-time conditions or helping businesses personalise their customer offerings,” Nokia said. It’s a similar logic to the purchase of Desti, which aims to give better travel recommendations — on local restaurants or activities, for example — by analysing the context of users’ requests. Nokia said it will also put Medio Systems’ analytics to work in its Technologies and NSN arms. It also recently made an acquisition to strengthen its networking arm, acquiring small cells company Mesaplexx last week.