In collaboration with Coders HQ, Museum of the Future and Lenslist

  • Publish date: Tuesday، 06 September 2022
In collaboration with Coders HQ, Museum of the Future and Lenslist

Meta’s Spark AR hosts event at Museum of the Future celebrating winners of MENA region’s first Spark AR Challenge

- HE Omar Sultan Al Olama: The UAE promotes collaboration to create an encouraging environment for future technologies and digital talent

- Gathering experts in the digital field to discuss the potential for augmented reality and the metaverse

- Developers in augmented reality from around the world present more than 400 AR effect

- Awarding the winners of the Spark AR Challenge, allowing developers to immerse themselves into the winning effects through AR and VR experiences

- Spark AR is an outstanding opportunity for developers to present their achievements in leading international platforms

Dubai, 05 September, 2022 – Today, Meta hosted the MENA region’s first Spark AR event in collaboration with the Coders HQ, Dubai’s Museum of the Future and Lenslist. The event gathered experts in the digital field from around the world to discuss the potential for augmented reality and the metaverse and celebrated the winners of the Spark AR Challenge, launched earlier this year which will present their projects and achievement in leading international platforms.

His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications, said partnerships and collaborations were vital to drive AI adoption, create new opportunities and strengthen the UAE’s position as a global digital economy.

“The future is for all of us to create,” he said. “We are all change-makers and the UAE proudly welcomes innovators from around the world who want to be part of our attractive, competitive, collaborative and fast-changing digital environment. Augmented reality has enormous potential to transform how we interact with one another and build deeper, more meaningful relationships in the future. It is one of many advanced technologies we are rapidly exploring in pursuit of our plans to build a knowledge-driven economy. I congratulate every winner and participant alike today – they have demonstrated how bright the future is for talent with digital skills.”

Fares Akkad, Regional Director, MENA at Meta talked about Meta’s vision for the metaverse and the opportunities for businesses, consumers, developers and policymakers. He said: “The defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence—like you are right there with another person or in another place. It will feel like being inside the internet, instead of looking at it on a computer or mobile device. Although nothing beats being together in person, when it's not possible, the metaverse will get us pretty close.” Meanwhile, Chris Barbour, Director of AR Business Development and Partnerships at Meta added: “Spark AR is an important step on the road to the next computing platform. This is a future where people will no longer have to choose between people or screens to deepen connections,” highlighting the potential for Augmented Reality.

Dr. Sana Farid, Industry Specialist & Chair of the VR/AR Association participated in a fireside Chat moderated by Rashed Al Suwaidi, Associate Project Manager at the Artificial Intelligence Office on “How Immersive Technologies Shape Our Future”. The event also included a panel discussion on the topic of “Possibilities for The Future” with Keenan Hamza, VP Technology Futures and Innovation, Emirates Group; Asma Shabab, Senior Manager for Innovation, Accenture; Mariam Al Muhairi, Senior Projects Manager, Dubai Future Foundation and moderated by Joelle Awwad, Head of Policy Programmes & Partnerships, Meta.

The event ended with a ceremony to award the winners of the Spark AR Challenge, giving attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves into the winning effects through AR and VR experiences. Earlier this year, Meta launched the MENA region’s first global Spark AR challenge, under the theme of “Tomorrow Today, what will the next decade bring?”. During the three-week competition, creators worldwide submitted more than 400 augmented reality (AR) effects to showcase their creativity using the latest Spark AR features. Participants were tasked with creating AR effects around two different themes — “Mobility of Tomorrow” for Emirates Airline and “Opportunities of the Future” for Accenture. You can read more about the winners here.


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