It's not just a form of entertainment – but what's more entertaining than getting paid?
Just last week Nokia introduced a new augmented reality-based employment scheme called JobLens, which encourages jobseekers to use their smartphones to track employment.
Users of the app simply hold their device up to a company's building to display business details, who in their contact list works there, and if there are any jobs available.
Mobile Entertainment was at the launch and the details can be found on the site here.
During the event we interrogated VP and GM of global partners and app development at Nokia, Bryan Biniak, to find out exactly what difference Nokia's new app will make to the job-hunting process.
Is it a gimmicky add-on or is it a worthwhile addition to help people connect to employers? Let's find out...
How does the AR aspect of JobLens make it different to another job searching app, and how will it assist unemployment in the UK?
We found that job services give you job listings, but they don't tell you where the physical location of that job is. AR accelerates the process of determining what actually makes sense for them, instead of finding out that it's too far away.
So it says 'a job in London.' London is a big place, I don't want to spend my life commuting back and forth, so it offers jobs in the area where I want to work - it accelerates the filter process and instantaneously connects people.
Companies want to find people, and using technology and mobile devices to create those connections with people is another opportunity to do that.
You mentioned about companies not wanting give full addresses on job sites as they didn't want people knocking on their door every five minutes - can companies opt in and out of JobLens features?
We've brought in different companies such as PayScale, LinkedIn, Indeed, Yellow Pages and other aggregators of information and jobs, then taken that data and and brought it together.
The individual companies didn't actually opt in to the service – what we are doing is optimising the information and creating value around that data.
AR encourages people to use apps, read articles and play games, is it not a bit gimmicky for a job searching site, bearing in mind that it is a form of entertainment?
This is one view. Traditionally, you can search by location, search for jobs at a particular company directly or specify a certain type of job – or now you can use AR.
Job searches occur because people don't have one, they want a better one, sometimes they are looking opportunistically and it's just for intelligence or entertainment purposes.
I think as a tool AR is a way of augmenting the human capabilities. You can't see what is in a building ordinarily without entering and looking at the register of companies, but even that doesn't tell you if there are jobs available, so we're extending human capabilities beyond what they can do themselves.
Do you think it will encourage people to job search, apply and get employed?
Yes – definitely.
As a whole, how lucrative is the AR market?
Going back to your point about AR being used for entertainment, I'm sure there are some AR entertainment experiences that are compelling, but if you look at AR games, they're not the highest performing titles out there.
I think it is still in its infancy, but I think when we are talking about using AR for utility and productivity solutions – we use it for CityLens and other products we use around maps, locations and so on – then it's a very powerful tool.
Will you be rolling out the app to other platforms? If so, what is the time span?
In terms of Nokia taking JobLens to other platforms we don't have a plan to do that, but terms of some of the entrepreneurs we've teamed at Entrepreneur First can come up with new ideas for the technology and bring it to other platforms, but it's ultimately up to them as to what their plans are.
Are you going to take JobLens to other countries?
What we try to do is concentrate on each individual market – like in the UK where we brought in PayScale and The City Of London and other data sources from the UK Government to fill out what we have – so it's really something that is developed for the UK and we are going to do that country by country.
What has been the most impressive use of AR that you have seen?
I like what Nokia has done with CityLens and I like the stuff that I will actually use. For me when I am walking down the street looking for a restaurant or a bar or shops, using that AR view actually helps me to do stuff.
It is also really fun to give my kids a phone and get them to engage and find stuff as part of it. That's a lot easier than them having to type stuff in to the phone and looking when they can just hold up the phone and it's there right in front of them.