Nokia’s JobLens App: View Vacancies Around You

nokia-joblens-app

“Britain’s economy has turned a corner at last” quip senior Tory MPs ahead of last month’s official Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data showing Britain’s output. Almost five years following the crippling financial crash the UK’s financial woes seem to be witnessing a flicker of optimism, but try telling the 29.70 million people who are looking and available to work but are unable to find a job that the “mood in Britain has changed.”

House prices may have seen a wisp of a rise; GDP may be a little healthier but for the millions unemployed, the rosy picture the Tories seem intent on painting could hardly be gloomier.

While help might not be readily at hand through the government, Nokia seems better prepared to tackle the UK’s unemployment woes in the form of an augmented reality app.

Nokia recently unveiled JobLens, a proactive app which enables job seekers to see more than 500,000 available job vacancies throughout the UK. Users can filter the open job opportunities through company, distance, salary or keyword. At a first glance you may ask yourself how JobLens is different from the likes of Moster.co.uk or Jobsite.co.uk. What gives JobLens an original edge is that users can view the vacancies on a map, or, on some devices, using augmented reality. With selected Lumia models, the app will open up a lens allowing users to search for vacancies in particular town or city.

Looking through a spurious camera lens to hone in on places where jobs are available might not save the UK’s unemployment problems, but at least Nokia is doing, well more than the coalition government that’s for sure.

Employment issues aside, the technology behind the JobLens app is interesting. Nokia’s HERE maps use sight navigation as a way to discover and find your way around the world. LiveSight technology advances HERE maps further by enabling users to pinpoint exactly where they are looking. Users simply have to open HERE Maps, click on the LiveSight icon and pan around. As you pan, shops, restaurants and buildings will stare back up at you on your phone’s display.

Besides allowing job seekers to pinpoint the exact location of a job with interesting accuracy, JobLens will recommend opportunities that are catered to a user’s qualifications, can create CVs and even share CVs with prospective hiring managers. What’s more, if you manage to bag yourself an interview, HERE maps will guide you to the destination.

In its JobLens press release, Nokia describes its new app as being a “catalyst for the employment market” as it “lowers barriers between job seekers and local vacancies.”

JobLens is only available for Nokia Lumia devices, including those operating Windows Phone 8 and 7.5 or higher.

It might not rectify a deeply embedded societal crisis in which the UK government is irrefutably failing, but JobLens certainly beats the old-school job hunting method of squinting over ads in a Job Centre window.

You can download the enterprising app here.

Silhouette iMirror app: Taking vanity to new heights!

Choosing a pair of glasses that suit your face can be an arduous task. It is also a task that, more often than not, is not given the amount of time and patience we would like to devote to it through fear of looking vain and taking up too much of an optician’s time at a local Spec Savers. Although these days of buying a pair of glasses on a rushed whim could be a spectacle-wearers affliction of the past, thanks to the Silhouette iMirror app.

iMirror

Created by the leading eyewear brand Silhouette, users will have the luxury of choosing as many new models from the Silhouette range of rimless glasses and sunglasses as they desire. The glasses will then ‘appear’ on the user’s face via the internal camera on an iPad2 or iPhone4, so they can check out how well suited a particular model of glasses is to his or her face. Although, I’m not just talking a 2D image of the potential glasses, I am talking the ability to move, rotate and turn with amazing 3D clarity at a pair of imitation glasses on your face!

If studying your possibly soon-to-be new glasses as you smile, wink or look studious at your iPhone’s integrated camera isn’t enough to convince you whether or not a pair of specs will do your face physical justice, you can even take a screenshot of you ‘wearing’ the specs and send it to friends and family via your iPad or iPhone, in order to get their opinion – For heaven’s sake it’s only a pair of glasses!

The highly innovative Silhouette iMirror app can be downloaded from the iTunes Store for free.

Post-Modern: Royal Mail’s intelligent stamps

In 1840 the first ever postage stamp appeared in the UK bearing the profile of Queen Victoria. Since this remarkable occasion, stamps have not massively changed or evolved. Usually associated with tradition, royalty, British heritage and ‘geeks’, stamps are the last things you would expect to involve cutting-edge technology. Although when Royal Mail announced recently they were due to launch the world’s first ‘intelligent’ stamp to “bring them firmly into the 21st century”, after the initial surprise, you can’t help feeling ‘it’s about bloody time!’

Intelligent-Stamp

The “intelligent” stamp is activated when it is placed over the camera of an iPhone or Android smartphone, and by working with Junaio image recognition technology, the stamp launches exclusive online content. What kind of content could a stamp possibly initiate we all ask ourselves? Well those viewing the “intelligent” stamp, which is part of the Royal Mail’s Great British Railways edition, will be directed to a short film of Bernard Cribbins reading WH Auden’s famous poem Night Mail. The poem was written in 1936 for a documentary type film of the same name about the London to Glasgow postal train.

Whilst the majority of us – excluding we suspect stamp collectors and train enthusiasts, are unlikely to become that exciting about the prospect of viewing such material online – Royal Mail is extremely excited about the new technology.
Almost bursting at the seams about the stamp, Phillip Parker, a spokesman for the Royal Mail said:

“This is the first time a national postal service has used this kind of technology on their stamps and we’re very excited about bringing intelligent stamps to the nation’s post.Through intelligent stamp technology, our stamps will open up to a whole new world of information, interest and fun to collectors and the millions of people who will receive them on letters in the coming months.”

But lets be honest, Royal Mail with its tendency in recent times to post your mail if the afternoon instead of the morning – that’s if you have any ‘snail mail’ at all, as in the 21st century most mail seems to be sent in an instant electronically – needed to become more ‘energized’ and ‘in-keeping’ with the times.

Although you’ve got to hand it to the British, we were the inventors of and first to use stamps, followed swiftly by Brazil and the United States, now we are the first to evolve stamps and move them into the realms of modern technology. One can only presume other nations will quickly follow.

Samsung announce Galaxy Portal with Layar

“Layar”, the Augmented Reality Browser”, boasts Samsung like we all know all about this intriguingly titled new browser already. When in reality most of us have never even heard of it, although that is perhaps a good sign in the cutthroat world of technology and the increasingly pressurized yearning for companies, particularly mobile phone companies, to be innovative and inspiring.

In launching the Galaxy Portal, Samsung have leapt into the electrifying new world of Augmented Reality, and they’ve sure done it in style.  The chicly slender handset embraces a 3.2” TFT screen, has 32GB of memory and its Android Operating System enables users to download more 20,000 applications from the Android Market. Where many mobiles fail, Galaxy Portal users can enjoy the extensive range of apps and multimedia content without being abruptly interrupted by a flat battery, as this phone comes equipped with a 1500mAh battery life.

With the Galaxy Portal, users can quickly learn the location of a local business with the ‘Samsung Local Search’, powered by Qype. They can find a hotel with ‘Samsung Hotel Search’, powered by hotels.com, or they can obtain train station information with the ‘Samsung Train Station Search’, powered by thetrainline.com.  It is interesting that many of the thousands of pre-installed apps on this phone have been re-named to ‘Samsung’ – savvy self-promotion by the South Korean mobile giants, and one which exemplifies Samsung as being seminal ambassadors in mobile app technology.

Although regardless of Samsung’s determination to be branded as the indispensable developers in the app-driven world of mobile phones, it is the ‘Layar’ application that is undoubtedly the Galaxy Portal’s most innovative and exciting feature. Samsung have teamed up with a strategically decisive assortment of ‘lifestyle brands’, intent on easing the itineraries of even the most demanding of lifestyles. Faced with the tedious task of finding somewhere to dine tonight, simply point the Galaxy Portal at a restaurant and the visual guide will steer you to a restaurant. Not sure which pub has your team’s game on, the ‘Samsung Football Pub Finder’, with its comprehensive database of pubs with satellite television across the nation, will take you to the door. By pointing the handset, the Augmented Reality browser provides detailed visual guides about what’s going on in the vicinity.

And as the UK has recently been primed as becoming one of the world’s biggest consumers of mobile Augmented Reality, Samsung have well timed the launch of the Galaxy Portal onto the British high streets. As since January 12 this year, T Mobile has had the Galaxy Portal in stock, albeit only for an exclusive three months.

Although regardless of this mobile’s aesthetical elegancy, its ferocious appetite for apps and its seemingly endless quest to make busy lives seamless, what is really spectacular about the Galaxy Portal is its price. At approximately 225.00 pounds, the Samsung Galaxy Portal really does allow Augmented Realism to become a reality.