In the turn of the new century, new systems emerged in communications. The availability of mobile communication became a priority in Nigeria and this led to a steady decline in the prices of mobile phones and sim cards. On the global stage, heavy funding has been put into research in the fields of Virtual and Augmented Realities. In 2006, Microsoft acquired the software company Seadragon. Seadragon manipulated images so they could scale up or down without losing quality and information in the images. Further research has provided different uses for the technology. Today, the software is the basis of mapping available on Bing mapping, and subsequently Google maps. This allows for 360-degree real life images of places — providing a different and incredible mapping and location service. This advance provided an update on the already growing field of virtual reality.
In Nigeria, Virtual Reality is gaining ground. In 2016, Imisi 3D; a Nigerian Tech company organized a VR hackathon in CCHub in Yaba Lagos. CCHub is at the very center of Nigeria’s tech revolution and on the 19th of November, five teams of young Nigerian developers and VR enthusiasts gathered to participate as well as compete in the hackathon designed to have contestants tackle solution creation in the three main circles; education, healthcare and tourism. The winners of this competition, Team LeVRn went away with a $1000 prize and $5000 seed investment for product development. Their product helped create motion aided learning in the virtual environment as they were creating an app that teaches people how to code.
The presence of VR in the world and in Nigeria opens new opportunities. Opportunities for the adaptation of this technology in communication. While we are yet to see what new ways VR and AR will be used, we can only wait as it might present the new status-quo. It will also provide jobs and creative means for advertising. So, we wait — for what AR and VR will bring, but we know that the future of communication is exciting.
To learn more about the innovation across lagos at Africa at large be sure to attend #smwlagos 2017. Register here: https://socialmediaweek.org/lagos/attend/