Change the Game in Your Favor!
The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in collaboration with the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) has launched an AR/VR Challenge for the month of November. Given the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, the demand for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions are likely to increase. This Challenge was devised in order to generate more interest in this technology locally.
Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities. AR can be defined as a system that fulfills three basic features: a combination of real and virtual worlds, real-time interaction, and accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects.
Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include entertainment (i.e. video games) and educational purposes (i.e. medical or military training).
CARIRI is asking participants to showcase their vision for Trinidad and Tobago, the region or even the world by creating a novel AR/VR solution. The Challenge will display our local talent in the creation of an AR/VR solution that can be used in any field or sector, including but not limited to entertainment, sports, education, tourism, agriculture, communication, etc.
This Challenge aims to celebrate the innovative and creative spirit of our people and to bring an AR/VR solution to reality. This competition provides future leaders the opportunity to use emerging technologies, showcase their vision for the future, and gain professional exposure while commercializing their idea. Solutions can be either AR or VR or a combination of both which would be mixed reality or extended reality (XR).
The Challenge is open to any citizen of Trinidad and Tobago over the age of 18 years. Entrants should have experience using or a general interest in AR/VR, XR, or other emerging and immersive technologies. They should also have the passion, energy and drive to see their idea become a reality. The AR/VR Challenge is an opportunity to get involved, showcase an idea, make a name for themselves in the local AR/VR community and even commercialize the idea (which means either starting a business or licensing the idea). Participants will have the opportunity to see their idea come to life, gain some media exposure to kick start their career and make valuable beneficial connections. But most importantly, this idea could change the world!
AMCHAM Trinidad, Ramps Logistics and Avasant have also partnered with CARIRI to encourage participation and make this initiative a success.
More information can be found on the website www.cedcariri.com/ias. The deadline for submissions is Monday 30th November 2020 at 11:59pm.
On Friday 19th February 2021, the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) hosted the Grand Reveal and Prize Giving Cereomy for its AR/VR Challenge.
The winner was revealed as Roam Reality which was developed by Arielle Du Quesnay, Zwede Hewitt and Mahmoud Mattan. Roam Reality is a game created to mirror the popular Pokemon Go in a local context. RoamTT, the foundation brand for Roam Reality, has carved a space in the adventure hunt realm. The core brand has also developed a fanbase & market of outdoor enthusiasts in T&T and is well known amongst visiting tourists.
Speaking at the event, Senator the Honorable Hassel Bacchus, Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation said that he was quite pleased with the work that he has seen CARIRI do and has challenged the Institute to continue to carve out a niche for itself in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) space. The Minister went on to state that ‘this new world of AR and VR will definitely become a part of the way we interact with various systems and programmes as they have so many applications. Apart from the games, leisure and entertainment sectors, AR and VR have now become a staple of many other sectors including e-commerce and retail, as you would have seen during the course of the pandemic – the whole online shopping experience is being re-thought both locally and internationally to create a more interactive experience for the user.’
CARIRI’s Chairman, Mr Hayden Ferreira echoed the Minister’s call and stated that ‘when COVID-19 happened, CARIRI had to rethink its strategy for idea generation and came up with new programmes to continue encouraging persons to submit their ideas to the project. It is because of restrictions in movement imposed due to COVID-19, the team predicted that the demand for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions is likely to increase therefore this Challenge was devised in order to generate interest in this technology locally and we were not disappointed. The range of submissions from every field was impressive and we were pleasantly surprised by the level of interest that we received’.
CARIRI launched the AR/VR Challenge in November 2020 and the quality of the applications was impressive. Judges chose ten teams to move forward and they did a 5 minute ‘elevator pitch’ via Zoom. Following this, five finalists were chosen and they were given one month to develop a business proposal to tell the judges how they planned to commercialise their solution. In January 2021, again, the participants had to make a presentaiton to the judging committee via Zoom and from there the winner was chosen.
Two of the judges on the panel were directly sourced from AMCHAM Trinidad and their Digital Transformation Committee. Mr Kiran Deosingh of Ramps Logistics and Mr Jimmy Berkeley of AVASANT, both took up the challenge to be a part of the panel.
The first prize for the CARIRI AR/VR Challenge is $40,000.00 worth of services to push the winning solution through to commercialization. However, due to the level of development and the commitment of the other four teams, CARIRI has decided to work with all the finalists to get their solutions to market.
The other AR/VR solutions are: Carnival Universe created by Candice Lela and Rollywood; Konnect the Kids developed by Dane Ackbarali, Sheldon Singh and Cindy Ramsook; Planet Runner created by Derek Haqq and Jean Paul Haqq and Explore Tobago – Underwater by Irwin Williams and Ikechi Griffith.
Senator the Honorable Hassel Bacchus, Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration and Digital Transformation
The Judging Committee (l-r): Mr Kiran Deosingh, Mr Miguel Andrews, Mr Che Achoy, Mr Jimmy Berkeley and Mr Hayden Charles
The finalists of CARIRI's AR/VR Challenge