By Nnamdi Odumody
Judith Okonkwo through her startup Imisi 3D, an Extended Reality (XR) creation lab, is focused on building the XR ecosystem in Nigeria, and beyond. Imisi 3D is poised to grow a community of African AR|VR (Augmented Reality | Virtual Reality) creators, seed solution builders using AR|VR, and anchor educational and engagement experiences using AR|VR to learners and students.
We are an Extended Reality (AR/VR) creation lab dedicated to growing a community of AR/VR developers in Nigeria, creating solutions using AR/VR, and providing educational and engagement experiences with AR/VR. We see huge potential for AR/VR as a tool for creating everyday solutions and intend to change the technology narrative so that here we become creators and not just consumers of technology. We are future thinking and committed to being responsible ancestors, creating a better world for today and tomorrow.
The technology narrative of Nigeria has been one of consumption, and not creation, and with the advent of XR in the mass consumer space, an opportunity has been provided to change the narrative, and allow ownership of exponential technologies that allow innovators to define our future.
The educational sector in Nigeria is plagued with lack of access to quality education, crowded schools and out-of-school kids which is estimated at 13.2 million. The technologies and methods of yesterday have not solved these problems, and continuing deployment of these methods will lead to the same results of poor education attainment. Also, lack of funding in the sector, poorly trained teachers, and limited schools remain challenges.
Virtual Reality (VR) offers a promise to leapfrog these problems and offers the hope of more affordable, scalable and better quality education. VR delivers immersive experience on anything imaginable. If you can create VR content, you can create any world, or experience, and place your user in it.
Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates mainly auditory and visual feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory feedback. This immersive environment can be similar to the real world or it can be fantastical.
Current VR technology most commonly uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to “look around” the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens. Other forms of VR include augmented reality and mixed reality systems.
Imisi 3D aims to transform education with levrn3, an open source VR platform, for curriculum based learning modules, that supports both immersive classroom experiences for teachers and students. Its solution aims to provide quality education by designing educational modules that will enrich and deepen learning experiences. Levrn3 places a strong emphasis on designing its VR Content for education with users.
It is important to note that that there are other startups in the African continent using Extended Reality to transform education. Sisanda Technologies, a South African Edtech startup has developed SI Realities, a digital science laboratory leveraging Augmented and Virtual Reality for Grade 4 to Grade 12 learners, which will help scale up learning in the sciences – Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Also, Job Oyebisi, a Nigerian who runs StanLab, a Virtual Science Lab, also wants to use VR to train Nigerian high school students on STEM subjects.
The immersive connectivity which is expected to happen around 2022 will ensure that these solutions reach the end users at scale, across Nigeria and the continent. We will continue to document how they impact education, a very critical sector for economic development and human wellbeing.