Virtual and Augmented Reality is gaining more and more international attention due to the limitations of physical meetings imposed by COVID-19. Decision makers all over the world are recognizing the potential of this technology. Read in this article, how the DigiCenter supports the VR/AR community on the ground and local developers and applications in Rwanda.
Virtual and Augmented Reality in a nutshell
In order to transform how our societies work and communicate, emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Blockchain have come into play. The DigiCenter strives to push for the practical development and knowledge exchange around these technologies hence establishing the transfer and AR/VR labs at the space. Through the AR/VR lab, solution development is more interactive, engaging, and efficient. In other words, the lab is a meeting point where content creators and inventors form ideas and display them in VR/AR. These content creators, gamers and inventors meet regularly at the Digicenter or online through our AR/VR Community of Practice.
In the simplest of terms, Virtual Reality refers to a technology which replaces reality with a completely new 3D digital environment while Augmented Reality is a technology that overlays digital content on top of the real world. It is a well-known fact that both of these technologies can be used in different sectors including health, agriculture, education, tourism or banking. Virtual and Augmented Reality bring unlimited possibilities for teaching and learning processes.
Using Virtual and Augmented Reality in the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged many of us to think outside the box in terms of how to interact with others and how we bring people together amidst the restrictions that come with the pandemic. Through Virtual Reality, several industries, such as education, have benefitted from the fact that people are able to collaborate remotely.
On the side of tourism, where people have not been able to travel from country to country, VR has been used to substitute real travel. A study published by Cham Springer to examine the role of VR as a substitute for real travel shows the potential of the technology. It can be used as a virtual imagery tool to induce travel experiences and potentially substitute travel.
This is not to say that VR/AR will not thrive after COVID-19 but rather that COVID-19 is allowing people to realize the many benefits of using the technologies. According to Steve Dann, co-founder and executive chairman at Medical Realities, developers of the first end-to-end VR platform for the global healthcare industry, certain things will never be the same, even once the pandemic is over. In his opinion, the pandemic will definitely drive the adoption and utilization of AR and VR in the healthcare and educational fields.
Virtual and Augmented Reality at the DigiCenter
Additionally, because of the DigiCenter’s interest in seeing the VR industry in Rwanda progress, we hired Kigali360, a Rwandan company which builds virtual tours and VR ready websites to create a Virtual Tour of the Digital Transformation Center. This tour allows you to experience the Digital Transformation Center from any part of the world.
In addition, VR/AR enthusiasts meet regularly to exchange on the newest trends and local projects on VR/HR. These community meetups are hosted by the DigiCenter in partnership with DopeApps.
Join our VR/AR Community
You are passionate about Virtual and Augmented Reality? Then become a member of our Communities of Practice.