Today, Facebook-owner Meta announced that applications for the AR/VR Africa Metathon in partnership with Imisi 3D and BlackRhino VR are now open.
The AR/VR Africa Metathon is a series of programmes and activations under the Meta global XR fund aimed at supporting African XR talents to build innovative solutions that demonstrate various use cases of the metaverse in Africa.
Three major components will feature at the AR/VR Metathon, including a training program, an Africa-wide hackathon which will take place across 16 countries in Africa physically and open to everyone virtually, followed by an intensive boot camp to further develop solutions.
These components will run from Mid-August – April 2023.
“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,” says Phil Oduor, Policy Programs Lead for Africa at Meta.
According to Oduor, the XR Programs and Research Fund represent a two-year $50 million investment into programs and external research focused on building the metaverse in Africa. Through this fund, Meta is collaborating with industry partners, civil rights groups, governments, nonprofits and academic institutions to determine how to build these technologies in a responsible way.
“This is why we have partnered with Imisi 3D and BlackRhino VR, an extended reality ecosystem developer and a virtual reality production company, that represent Africa’s creative and innovative landscape, to launch this program to support African XR talent who are building innovative solutions that demonstrate the various aspects of the metaverse in Africa,” Oduor adds.
“Six years after our first hackathon, and following subsequent events in over 28 countries across the continent, we are especially thrilled to be partnering with Meta and BlackRhino VR for the 2022 edition,” said Judith Okonkwo, Founder Imisi 3D & AR/VR Africa.
“At this time of intense global interest in the Metaverse, our mission remains the same – increasing access to XR resources on the continent, accelerating XR talent, showcasing African XR solutions and creating pathways for careers and industry,” Okonkwo adds.
“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 MD, BlackRhino VR.
All developers, programmers, UI/UX designers, artists, animators, storytellers, professionals and students interested in participating in the 12 weeks training can register through this link.