Nokia asks British graduates to collaborate on augmented reality job search app

The mobile company has partnered with a start-up incubator in London

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia is asking British graduates on the Entrepreneur First start-up accelerator programme to improve its career services app, JobLens.

The Windows Phone 8 app was launched in the UK today as a tool to help jobseekers find roles in their local area and Nokia is now hoping that graduates on the Entrepreneur First accelerator will be able to hack in some improvements.

JobLens uses augmented reality to show the user where jobs are in relation to their current location. This means jobs in the area can be revealed on the user's phone screen when the device is pointed in a particular direction. The app also displays information on the job role, the salary and the company.

Meanwhile, the app integrates with the user's Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Windows Live profiles to learn what type of jobs the user might be looking for and find friends who may be able to introduce them to someone else in the company.

Jobseekers can also use the app to send their CV via SkyDrive to companies that have jobs they are interested in. If selected for an interview, the app can then direct the user to the right place using Nokia's Here mapping service.

To announce the partnership, Nokia is holding an Innovation Day today at Google Campus in Tech City. At the event, 30 graduates that have recently completed Entrepreneur First's accelerator programme and formed 11 start-ups valued at £15m will discuss how JobLens can be adapted to meet the demands of UK jobseekers.

Nokia hopes that the members of the Cohort will come up with new businesses founded on the core design and architecture of JobLens. At the event, Nokia told Techworld that it would provide the Cohort with a variety of Nokia Lumia Windows 8 Phones in order to help the graduates build products on JobLens.

"We want to challenge these young minds to imagine how JobLens can be enhanced and refined to address UK unemployment, a challenge that unfortunately all too many countries are combating," said Bryan Biniak, Nokia's vice president and general manager of app development.

Matt Clifford, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, said: "Our partnership with Nokia will provide our participants with a new set of tools and relationships to build the next generation of disruptive start-ups.

"With youth unemployment and skill shortages such a critically important issue, it's great to see Nokia tackle this head on by providing job seekers with an incredible new way to view and find jobs."

Business minister Vince Cable supported the new partnership, saying he hoped it would "inspire even more young people to start their own business and encourage graduates to consider entrepreneurship as a career option".

He added that investment in small businesses was key to the UK's economic recovery.

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