The National Programme for Coders has announced a new partnership with Snap Inc., the camera company and global pioneer behind AR innovation, empowering 15 Emirati university students to experience the power of augmented reality (AR) ahead of the UAE's Golden Jubilee.
The partnership represents an opportunity for students to imagine the future and celebrate the 50th UAE National Day through AR.
The collaboration aims to support the government's ongoing efforts to spur digital skills enhancement across the country, highlighting AR potentials as a critical enabler of creative expression while adding entertainment and utility to people's lives.
A group of skilled professionals will work with the university students to cover the fundamentals of programming AR experiences, the tools available to materialise these concepts, and the means of publishing AR experiences in the global marketplace.
Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, said,
"Building a technologically-advanced generation is a key direction for the Government of the UAE, which aims to enhance the role of creative technologies in serving the community and promoting a sustainable knowledge economy. These objectives embody the UAE's 10 principles for the next 50 years."
He emphasised the importance of collaborating with the private sector, which will dramatically facilitate these efforts. Announcing the new partnership ahead of the UAE's Golden Jubilee represents an essential opportunity for young people to share their visions and aspirations for the next 50 years, enabling them to explore how they can transform their ideas into AR-based applications and participate in shaping the future of the country, he added.
Hussein Freijeh, General Manager of Snap Inc. in the Middle East, said,
"Today, innovative technologies are creating a new value for businesses in the UAE while assisting governments in their strategic roadmaps and promoting wellbeing across local communities. This will only accelerate moving forward. As the UAE looks to the next 50 years, we believe technologies like AR play a fundamental role in shaping the future of how people experience the world around them, combining what they see in the real world with all that's available to them in the digital world."
As part of the partnership, participants are invited to create their own AR experience through Snap's Lens Studio, a powerful application designed for global creators and developers to build augmented reality experiences. Each participant will be given the prompt to use AR to imagine the future of the UAE over the next 50 years. A selection of the resulting AR Lenses will then be published directly on Snapchat and made available to communities across the UAE in time for the Golden Jubilee.
In a recent report by Deloitte Digital and commissioned by Snap Inc., almost all UAE users of social and communication apps were predicted to be frequent AR users by 2025. Although AR is generally still seen as a "toy", nearly 80% of respondents in the study expect and desire to use AR as a practical "tool" in their everyday lives.
News Source: Emirates News Agency