The tech community in Ibadan experienced an exciting boost in the area of Virtual and Augmented reality after an event by DeepTech Africa to spark up conversations in the industry.
The event themed “Building an Immersive Experience” had in attendance stakeholders from different sectors who converged at the Wennovation Hub, Ibadan to discuss how VR, AR, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, etc can lead the way in the next generation of tech solutions while sparking innovation in the city.
In his speech, the Accelerator Programmes Manager, CcHUB Nigeria, Francis Sani explained that even though AR/VR is still in its early stage and yet to be deployed seamlessly in Nigeria, there is the need to embrace it because it is at the forefront of the evolution of technology that the next generation will adopt.
He shared that CcHUB is collaborating with Facebook to support students at various levels such as B.Sc, MSc, Ph.D. as well as Startups to get funding in building Immersive technologies.
Shafi Abdulrahman, an AR Expert and Backend Developer at IVO thinking also emphasised that AR is capable of enhancing how students learn. He cited an instance of identifying anything in existence with an AR app that uses computer vision and some learning algorithms like Google Assistant to search for information.
While delivering his keynote speech, the convener, Ibrahim Lukman posited that the VR and AR technologies have the capacity to disrupt lots of spheres including but not limited to Medicine, Architecture and Engineering.
According to him, “We can use VR to train people in different professions. For instance, an electrician can learn preventive measures via an immersive experience that puts him in a real-time situation or even a fire-station simulating a real incident to train its personnel”.
Ibrahim added that the technology can bridge the gap in language learning as it affords learners the opportunity to learn one-on-one from an instructor through a trained avatar and several other possibilities that can improve learning outcomes.
Similarly, he noted that the importance of VR technology in mining cannot be overemphasised as miners or site engineers no longer have to dig too wide. All they need to do is send a sensor down the mines to get a clear vision of the structure beneath the earth surface inside the VR environment.
While expressing his passion to change the narrative of the tech ecosystem in the city by creating economic opportunities via skill-building in Immersive Technologies (AR/VR) development that meets the standard of the 4th industrial revolution with the aim of establishing African Nations that consume indigenous technologies. Ibrahim mentioned that while these transformations will improve human welfare, it is also expected to bring widespread disruption in various sectors with participation in the globalized digital economy.
He added, to speed and ease impact of these transformations, the adoption of Deep technology must be approached head-on with a bold step, flexible and inclusive policies. To achieve this, the government and her agencies, private sectors and other stakeholders all have an important and complementary role to play side by side. He noted that the cornerstone of Deeptech Africa community is driven by weekly conversations with experts, Online Webinars, Monthly meetups and Conference.
Over 70 individuals participated in the event by DeepTech Africa in Ibadan — a community of over 250 members and 40 experts across diverse fields in over six cities in Nigeria and Kenya.
The Ibadan VR meetup held on 6th of April,2019 is the maiden edition and the team has expressed commitment to extend the development to other areas in the country.
DeepTech Africa currently has members in Ilorin, Lagos, Abuja, Oshogbo and Nairobi and is committed to building an Africa that consumes technologies built on the continent.