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Kenya: BlackRhino VR Launches Innovative AR Platform to Boost Creatives

Kenyan extended reality tech company BlackRhino VR has launched an augmented reality (AR) platform designed to empower content creators within the creative economy to rapidly build and publish AR content.

Dubbed MediAR, the platform is touted as Africa’s first, user friendly AR cloud editor and publishing platform that uses drag-and-drop technology, which lessens the challenging learning curve associated with coding while producing AR solutions and content.

Speaking during the launch ceremony in Nairobi recently, BlackRhino VR CEO Brian Afande said the platform was a response to the need to unlock Africa’s creative sector through AR.

“Our primary objectives are to empower Africa’s youth, who are the innovators of the future, to broaden their skills set that allows them to scale up innovations as well as to democratise extended reality technologies in order to make them easily accessible, so that ultimately these immersive technologies can actively and positively contribute to Africa’s socio-economic development. We also want to demystify the notion that Africa is only a consumer of technology and demonstrate that there are numerous innovative African technological solutions that are being developed to solve the continent’s challenges,” he said.

MediAR is designed with an inclusive revenue share model based on a pay-per-view service, allowing content creators and brands to coexist in a digital ecosystem. BlackRhino VR is urging content creators across Africa to leverage the platform to perpetuate the development of an internet economy with the potential to create jobs, reduce poverty and contribute to the continent’s development.

The global extended reality (XR) market – which includes virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality – was valued at $29bn in 2022 and is projected to rise to more than $100bn by 2026.

BlackRhino VR head of AR/VR Longino Muluka said the integration of XR technology into different sectors of the economy is imperative.

“Augmented reality has the ability to create immersive experiences where linear blueprints seamlessly transform into 3D models,” Muluka said. “For instance, we are witnessing a new era where technology and creativity intertwine to create powerful visualisation tools adding immense value to the dynamic construction industry.”

The technology can also revolutionise the education sector by bridging the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. “The seismic shift for education will come from deploying AR in a learning context where dynamic learning environments will be created as abstract concepts, turning classrooms into immersive experiences,” BlackRhino VR managing director Shamina Rajab said.

BlackRhino VR anticipates that MediAR will facilitate the creation of an economic ecosystem specialising in AR goods, products and services.

The platform was developed with €180 000 funding from the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union under the Ignite Culture programme. The programme, implemented by the British Council and HEVA Fund in East Africa, intends to boost the potential of the cultural and creative sector and its contribution to the development of the ACP countries.

Source : Music Africa