The last couple of decades have seen a swift shift in technology both on the hardware front as well as software. The latest technologies have evolved at a tremendous rate. In the same fashion, last couple of years have witnessed Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) industry boom and garner an increasing attention from both investors and entrepreneurs. So far this industry had been consumer driven in the Middle East and North African region but that is changing fast as the number of VR/AR startups is on the rise. VR/AR technology influence the very way people work, learn, think, play, communicate and even consume content. As the industrialists, corporate sector, education sector and the government become aware of the potential and robust nature of the VR/AR technology, it becomes essential to streamline the technical infrastructure for current and future challenges.  

 

To this end exactly, the Virtual and Augmented Reality Conference is in progress in Dubai, UAE from 26 – 27 November, organized by International Quality Productivity Center (IQPC). The conference brings together the key stakeholders in the industry to communicate and assess the commercial applications and implications of VR/AR technology. The conference is focused at the funding opportunities and the step by step process for government and enterprises to adopt and implement the VR/AR technology as well as the impact the technology is going to have on different industries.

Dr. Sana Farid, one of the most known and talented entrepreneurs, a pioneer AR/VR Strategist in MENA, is chairing the conference. Dr. Sana has come forward as a distinguished ambassador to women empowerment programs and become a successful entrepreneur in a very short span of time. She is predominantly supporting government and non-governmental initiatives on various platforms, leading them to envision, strategize and streamline the use of VR/AR/Ai based programs in different sectors such as healthcare, aviation, education and public services.

A native Arab speaker, co-founder and CEO of Munfarid Consulting, one of the leading AR/VR companies in the Middle East, Dr. Sana takes her inspiration from the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, “For me the inspiration comes from the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and it is my intention to follow in his footsteps to pursue and embrace innovative technologies, as a way to progress towards a globally competitive socio-economic infrastructure and ensure a better future for our generations.” Sheikh Mohammed recently appointed the State Minister for Artificial Intelligence, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, as acknowledgement of the fact that this is the technology of the future as well as a pledge that UAE is ready to embrace that future. The ongoing edu-tech developmental initiatives and projects by the government are further proof of their conviction and passion for this motive.

The concept of using VR/AR technology commercially is certainly not new. In fact the technology has been around and in use for quite some time now in various industries like architecture, aviation, engineering, hospitality industry, tourism, military etc. More industries are becoming immersive as VR/AR technology allows for every stage in the manufacturing of a product or delivering a service, to form into a collaborative effort. This technology has spurred the pace for everything as designers, engineers and manufacturers are able to design and create products at a much faster pace. The visualization properties of the VR technology help communicate the understanding of the design or product across different departments at all stages. The result is a much more seamless, coordinated and coherent relationship between different departments.

 

Although until recently the biggest deterrent for the mainstream adoption of VR/AR technology has been budgetary. The average consumer or business was limited by the fact that thousands of dollars went into acquiring the technology. But as the costs have come down greatly both for the hardware and actual content, businesses of all size see the potential in the use of the VR/AR technology. Just as mobile computing and ecommerce has changed the way people communicate and transact, VR/AR technology is capable of even bigger impact on the way people do business.

The conference is a great platform for entrepreneurs, engineers, marketers, researchers, designers, manufacturers and retailers to learn about the commercial applications of VR and AR across multiple industries including construction, education, healthcare, real estate, oil and gas, power and utilities, and more. The conference not only provides insight into the implications and impact of the use of VR/AR but also provides networking opportunities between businesses and software/hardware and service providers for VR/AR technology.

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