Samoa’s first virtual reality training launched

By Hyunsook Siutaia 20 September 2020, 5:00PM

The Australian government and Australian virtual reality startup D.P. Immersive are launching Samoa’s first training programme for virtual and augmented reality.

The initiative is being rolled out with the support of SkyEye Pacific and the Hub, an event-hosting and virtual learning environment provider. 

Applications are now open for the programme, which is to be delivered by D.P. Immersive. 

The Sydney firm has over 10 years of experience in multimedia production.

The training programme will be held online in four weeks’ time at The Hub between 6 to 27 October.

Shortlisted participants will be given the opportunity to create digital projects using the latest in virtual and augmented reality technology. 

Virtual reality is the process of creating computer-generated simulations. 

It makes use of specialised electronic equipment such as hats or gloves with sensors to mimic human movement realistically.

Participants in the programme will be able to scan or design digital items which can be placed in a virtual environment and interacted with by participants.

According to a statement, the Chief Executive Office of D.P. Immersive, Daniel Striker, said he was fortunate to travel to Samoa in 2017 for the Digital Pacific Conference. 

That gave him the idea of bringing this new technology to the Pacific. 

“I truly believe this is the beginning of a new era, where local stories and culture can be created authentically and live in the digital world, bringing new symbiotic business opportunities to anyone keen to get involved,” Mr. Stricker said

“I’m truly thankful for everyone that has helped make this a reality, especially [... the] Ministry of Communication and Technology, SkyEye and The Hub.”

Selected participants will learn skills such as scanning and photogrammetry and learn about virtual reality technology and augmented reality.

They will also receive personal mentors and learn how to combine the skills needed to capture a piece of digital art. A mobile application designed by D.P. Immersive will help students put their creations to use. 

Local partners, Fa’aso’otauloa Sam Saili, Co-founder of Skyeye Pacific and Olisana Mariner, Co-founder of The Hub will support participants on site.

Fa’aso’otauloa spoke about how the initiative came about and the opportunities that will result from the program. 

He said that virtual and augmented reality are the next stage of human interaction with technology. SkyEye is already working with using drones to build three dimensional models of areas and structures.

“Our first interaction with Daniel [Stricker] and D.P. Immersive occurred, when Daniel noticed our 3D models at the Digital Pacific Conference in 2017,” he said

“The opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge of how to create and use [virtual reality] and [augmented reality] is critical so that our people are not left-behind skill-wise and we can create Samoan content to be consumed not just by Samoans but for overseas audiences, so that our Samoan stories and culture is digitalised, made accessible, and continues to live.”

By Hyunsook Siutaia 20 September 2020, 5:00PM

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