Nokia fakes ad for Lumia 920 camera capabilities, issues bizarre apology

Nokia yesterday hyped the PureView video stabilization technology built into the just-announced Lumia 920, and showed off a video to highlight PureView's capabilities. There's only one problem: The video is fake and not shot with a Lumia 920. And the apology offered by Nokia is rather bizarre.

Nokia says PureView eliminates the shakes and jitters you can get when taking video and photos with a smartphone. To show how well it works, the company released an ad showing a man and woman riding a bicycle side by side, with the man taking a video of the woman. You then see the video the man is taking of the woman -- with PureView off and with PureView on. The difference is startling.

That video, though, wasn't shot with a Lumia 920, or any smartphone. And it wasn't shot from someone riding a bicycle. Instead, someone rode in a van next to the woman and took the video of her using a sizable video camera. Nokia then faked the scene of a man riding a bicycle taking footage of the woman with a Lumia 920, so that you would think the video was being shot with a Lumia 920.

The Verge uncovered this when it noticed a reflection in a trailer the man and woman were passing by. If you look at the reflection, you don't see the man on a bicycle. Instead, you see, in the words of The Verge, "a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway — with what appears to be a large camera rig."

Nokia eventually admitted that the video was fake. And it then issued an apology, a somewhat bizarre one. Here's part of what Heidi Lemmetyinen wrote on the Nokia blog:

"In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilization (which eliminates blurry images and improves pictures shot in low light conditions), we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS [PureView technology].
"Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologize for the confusion we created."

Can anyone make any sense of the following two sentences in the apology:

"This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet."

We seem to be in the realm of complicated metaphysics here. Is she saying that the ad Nokia posted does not yet exist, but might  at some point in the future? Is her statement the smartphone equivalent of the famous Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, which attempts to describe the apparent paradox at the heart of quantum theory?

I'll admit that I'm being a bit disingenous here. She likely means that at some point, the Lumia 920 will be able to shoot video like the video that Nokia faked. At this point, though, I don't believe her, and neither should you. If the Lumia 920 could already do that, Nokia would have used its capabilities to shoot the video. And keep in mind that the faked video was being shot from a van rather than a bicycle, and with a big camera, not a small smartphone.

Nokia was in bad enough trouble before it faked the video. Now it's in even worse.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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