April 13, 2024


DHAHRAN: 5 finalists from the third version of the King Abdulaziz Middle for World Tradition’s immersive design residency program lately showcased their initiatives.


Miznah Al-Zamil, head of creativity and innovation on the heart, also referred to as Ithra, stated: “We aren’t simply nurturing innovators, we are attempting to determine and promote breakthrough creatives who will assist redefine the immersive tech panorama in Saudi Arabia and past.


“And our quest to contribute to Saudi’s inventive financial system continues,” she stated, including that recruitment for the following wave of gifted Saudi creatives is now underway for the fourth version of this system.



Miznah Al-Zamil, Ithra’s head of creativity and innovation


Based on Ithra, the 2023 cycle obtained 187 submissions. Of these, 15 concepts had been chosen to proceed to the three-month improvement part earlier than Wednesday, when the 5 profitable finalists had been revealed.


On Demo Day, 80 worldwide buyers and main firms within the Kingdom’s immersive applied sciences sector had been current to witness the 5 remaining concepts chosen. This system’s supply companion, IN4 Group, a Manchester-based main innovation and digital expertise supplier, was additionally current.


The successful initiatives — a few of which responded to native and international points resembling environmental safety and historic preservation — every utilized immersive applied sciences, together with augmented actuality, digital actuality, blended actuality, immersive audio and haptics.



Specialists mentored the members and designed a collection of masterclasses, workshops and bootcamps that targeted on their inventive, technical, and entrepreneurial talents. (Provided)


In the course of the intensive, eight-month residency, members had been mentored by consultants within the subject and attended a collection of masterclasses, workshops and bootcamps, every custom-designed to hone their inventive, technical and entrepreneurial expertise.


Finalists this yr earn a complete fund of SR 750,000 ($200,000), double the quantity of the final cycle. Candidates additionally obtain {custom} tech mentorship to additional develop their initiatives into working prototypes, with the outcomes showcased in a personal exhibition on the finish of this system at Ithra’s flagship inventive convention, Tanween.


We aren’t simply nurturing innovators, we are attempting to determine and promote breakthrough creatives who will assist redefine the immersive tech panorama in Saudi Arabia and past.



Miznah Al-Zamil, Ithra’s head of creativity and innovation


Myriam Achard, head of partnerships at Phi Middle, a multifunctional house based mostly in Canada that’s devoted to the humanities, spoke to the attendees.


“It at all times begins with a great story, then the know-how follows,” Achard stated.



Sultan Bin Masoud presents ‘AudioAura’ App on the occasion. (Provided)


The 5 2023 finalists had been every current to information members of the viewers by their prototypes.


Sultan Bin Masoud, who has over 20 years of expertise as an engineer, introduced AudioAura, an utility with immersive audio experiences tied to particular geo-locations.


“With the purpose of entertaining and educating customers about Saudi Arabia’s wealthy cultural heritage and historical past, AudioAura takes customers on a journey to discover varied heritage websites and be absolutely immersed within the recreated soundscape of historic narratives,” he stated.



A VR expertise introduced by Michael Bou Nacklie titled “Arabia Revealed” highlights the variety and great thing about Saudi Arabia by varied areas. (Provided)


Fatimah Al-Dubaisi unveiled “Revive,” a VR expertise set in a world the place Earth’s ecosystem has collapsed.


“‘Revive’ immerses viewers in a younger man’s journey to guard the one plant he has ever seen amid a vicious battle that threatens not solely his life however humanity’s destiny as effectively,” Al-Dubaisi stated. Her mission is in collaboration with workforce members Layla Al-Dubaisi, Zainab Abuabdullah and Zainab Al-Jishi.


Fatima Al-Luwaim’s “Janamia,” an immersive animated movie, is about in her hometown of Al-Ahsa, about one and a half hours away from Ithra by automotive.


“A seemingly atypical bougainvillea flower named Janamia embarks on a journey to find her true value, as she defies nature’s whims and human indifference to discover a place the place she actually belongs,” Al-Luwaim stated of her mission.


Crew chief Malak Quota, together with Pixel Hunters, confirmed her journey throughout the womb in “Surrounded Serenity,” a VR expertise that journeys into a spot all people have been however none recall. “It takes the consumer on a digital journey which presents calming interactions and an opportunity at symbolic rebirth,” Quota stated.


Michael Bou Nacklie introduced “Arabia Revealed,” a VR expertise that takes the consumer throughout varied locations throughout the Kingdom to focus on the variety and great thing about the nation.


“(It’s) designed to make clear misconceptions about Saudi Arabia, as seen by the lenses of reports retailers and social media influencers who usually present a fraction of what the nation and its folks have to supply,” he stated. His mission is in collaboration with Hasan Hatrash and Rauf Saadra.


Launched in 2021, the Inventive Options program runs an annual open name to draw creatives from everywhere in the Kingdom.


This system was initially designed to be a hybrid mannequin — a mix of on-line and in-person conferences. In 2024, nevertheless, Ithra goals to focus extra on the latter in order that members can take pleasure in natural interactions at each the Thought Lab and Immersive Lab at Ithra.


The audience for the Inventive Options program contains filmmakers, multimedia designers, sport designers, graphic designers, animators, artists and others who’re focused on discovering methods to merge immersive know-how with storytelling.


For extra particulars concerning the Inventive Options Residency Program, go to ithra.com.