As the world embraces rapid technological advancements, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) have emerged as transformative tools with the potential to revolutionize industries and enhance human experiences.
Whether for art, education, healthcare, entertainment or engineering, AR and VR will play a foundational role in the next phase of technology. That’s why across the world, initiatives are launching that aim to incubate and nurture innovative ideas in transformative technology.
One such program is the Creative Solutions program by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Saudi Arabia. From this, two innovative projects - MemoARable and Virtually There - have arisen, aiming to leverage AR and VR to add value to Saudi Arabia’s cultural and creative industries (CCI).
MemoARable, spearheaded by Maryam Alfadhli and Lina Alismail, seeks to reimagine the customer-store relationship through an AR-powered app.
By transforming memories into personalized gifts incorporating images, messages, and voice notes, MemoARable transcends traditional marketing strategies, opening doors for immersive ticketing and gift card possibilities, and expanding its application beyond initial expectations.
On the other hand, Maram Alghamdi and Ali AlEid's Virtually There aims to revolutionise the tourism industry by offering users a full 3D, 360-degree access to Saudi Arabia's top destinations. Kicking off with AlUla, this immersive experience takes audiences on a journey through iconic tourist attractions.
The roadmap also includes virtual visits to Riyadh, Jeddah, and a pilgrimage-focused tour of Makkah and Madinah, creating an exciting blend of culture and technology.
The prototypes of these projects were presented to a team of international tech experts, including inventor and tech consultant Simon Benson, as part of the Creative Solutions program.
This program empowers digital content creation in immersive technologies and grants each of the five selected projects financial support of up to $20,000 to bring their ideas to fruition.
Room to grow
This year marks the third edition of the Creative Solutions showcase, welcoming participants to pitch their ideas once again. Successful applicants will develop their prototypes from September to December before presenting them to investors and the public in Q4.
The Creative Solutions program goes beyond mere financial support, as participants embark on a transformative journey featuring technical, creative, and entrepreneurial training and mentorship.
Their prototypes are showcased in events attended by potential collaborators, incubators, accelerators, and other stakeholders, further promoting innovation and collaboration in the immersive tech space.
As the world embraces immersive technologies, projects like these will pave the way to unleashing the limitless potential of AR and VR. With MemoARable and Virtually There leading the way, the future is indeed bright for the intersection of creativity, technology, and human innovation.
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