AR/VR AFRICA ANNOUNCES ITS 2022 AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY METATHON IN PARTNERSHIP WITH META AND BLACK RHINO VR.
This year’s events provide an opportunity to grow the next generation of African Extended Reality talent, solutions, and start-ups.
LAGOS, NIGERIA - Imisi 3D is collaborating with Black RhinoVR, Meta and partners across Africa to host the 2022 AR/VR Africa Metathon, made up of its training program, hackathon, and Bootcamp over the next 9 months.
Registration opened on August 22nd; following which are participants onboarded to AR/VR Africa’s Discord Server. As in previous years, this server will provide a platform for engagement and training for participants. Curated online learning materials, AR/VR mentor sessions, workshops and masterclasses from global experts will be available. In addition, this year’s program will include 3-month instructor-led XR courses, which will conclude in November.
The hackathon follows in November and December with in-person hackathons for participants in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda; while a virtual edition will hold for participants in all other African countries. This year’s theme ‘Your XR, Your Way’, reflects the universal ownership of the extended reality technologies we are working towards on the continent. Participating teams are asked to build solutions across 5 verticals: Education, Healthcare, Tourism, Social Impact and Business Applications.
Judith Okonkwo, AR/VR Africa convener and Imisi 3D’s founder explained “this year we are thrilled to have Meta, who have been regular sponsors of our hackathons, partner more closely with us. They are leveraging their Global XR Fund to provide comprehensive support for this year’s event. We are also partnering with BlackRhino VR, who have participated in our last two editions. Together we are committed to AR/VR Africa’s objectives - increasing access to XR resources on the continent, accelerating XR talent, showcasing African XR solutions and creating pathways for careers and industry. We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to drive XR innovation at a time when it is most needed.”
According to Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Lead for Africa at Meta, “The AR/VR Africa Metathon is an opportunity to demonstrate how artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality technologies that have been around for decades, are core to the future of the metaverse and what Africans are building in the industry.”
The final component of the 2022 AR/VR Africa Metathon, the Bootcamp will provide educational, technical and financial support for the top teams from the continent. Over three months, they will have the opportunity to refine their solutions and build out MVPs. This will culminate in a Demo Day, giving the teams a platform to showcase their work and providing a unique first-look opportunity for African XR innovation and talent.
“The Metathon will encourage exploration and discovery among young African creative technologists who will have the opportunity to develop Afrocentric XR use cases that will tackle some of the unique challenges they are facing in our continent. This type of collaboration is what Africa needs to highlight the potential of new and untapped socioeconomic opportunities created by XR Technologies'' commented Brian Afande, Co-founder and Managing Director, BlackRhino VR.
Egyptian Country Partner, Maged Farrag, of 5dVR had this to say “5dVR is extremely proud to be the local partner in Egypt for the AR/VR Africa hackathon in 2018, 2020, and the upcoming round in 2022. We believe that such activities help promote XR technology and spread awareness about the possible use cases. It’s amazing to see the increasing number of countries and participants year after year.”
Interested participants are invited to join the AR/VR Africa Facebook networking group and to register here. Participant access to the online learning platform will be made available following registration.
Over $150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand dollars) worth of prizes and funding will be awarded during the AR/VR Africa Metathon.