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LONDON, United Kingdom – Ever wanted to know where the nearest restaurant is, or which way you need to walk to find the closest bank? You could load up Ovi Maps on your smartphone, or instead, you could now use Live View: Augmented Reality browser. Find out what’s around you you, using your phone’s built-in camera and this app. Read on for all the details.

Once you’ve navigated your way to the Beta Labs, logged in, downloaded and installed this app, all that’s left to do is to load it up. Your welcomed by a view of what your camera is seeing plus a little piece of text advising you to calibrate your phone’s compass, briefly. This means waving your phone around for a few seconds, but it calibrates very quickly.

On the top left of the screen is where you select what you want to search for, by means of categories. If you’re looking for somewhere to sleep for the night or just looking to take in some local sights, these are accessible through that menu, along with other options, too.

Live View searches the Ovi Places directory to find all the points of interest around you, and once it’s found that place will show you an icon on your screen with that POI name and how far away it is. Let’s say you’ve scanned the horizon with the camera on your phone and see somewhere you’d like to visit. Press its name and you’ll see that Ovi Maps will open up for you, at that desired location. From here you can navigate straight there using the free turn-by-turn navigation, read reviews or send that location somebody else using the share button. Sharing options are currently via SMS or email.

Here’s Mark Fulks, Director of Ovi Visual Search in California, with a demo.

Check Live View out today – for free – from Nokia Beta Labs and start exploring the world around you. Supported phones are the Nokia C7, Nokia E7 and the Nokia N8.

What do you think? Let us know, below.