Ithra selects five digital immersive content projects out of 26 short-listed.
- Ithra supports the five top projects with finance and technical guidance as they work to deliver the final project in December 2021
- The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture initiative to support creatives working in AI, AR, VR, mixed reality and haptics.
DHAHRAN: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) announces the five finalists for its new Creative Solutions program. The projects will go on to progress their ideas, which share the theme “Digital Immersive Content Creation” with a view to turning them into marketable products. The projects which have progressed to the final stage feature themes as diverse as traditional Saudi art designs.
The program was launched on February 23, 2021, and is designed to build an ecosystem of innovators supporting the growth of the creative economy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Creative Solutions focuses on the use of immersive technologies including artificial intelligence, haptics, and virtual, augmented and mixed reality, as well as immersive audio.
The five final programs were selected from the 26 teams whose projects were selected for the initial refining and presentation phase. These participants, many of them young Saudis who work in the creative and high-tech industries spend several weeks at a series of masterclasses, technical workshops and networking events designed to help them all in their creative careers, whether selected for the final five projects or not.
The third phase involves an intensive international bootcamp, which will be held online and involve tailored one-to-one mentoring to progress each project and each creative. There will then be over three months of intensive support and co-operation to develop each project into a marketable product. This phase also entails financial support to the tune of up to SAR 75,000 per project, with the overall Creative Solutions winner to be announced on December 16.
The projects selected for the final five are:
- Alqatt XR: which features the iconic traditional Al-Qatt art form from southern Saudi Arabia. The project is being delivered by a team of four: Areej Alwabil, Haifa Alhababi, Layla Albabtain and Abdullah Moshantat. The project is dedicated to documenting, and preserving our Saudi cultural and natural heritage. It uses digital visualization, 3-D virtualization, geospatial informatics, and open access solutions to provide digital data and 3D models to regional institutions, museums, local scholars and the public.
- The Anticipation of Rain, which is a mixed reality, location-based experience based on the sensations which comes from heavy rainstorms. This is a solo project by the Saudi-based artist Naima Karim, who originally comes from Bangladesh, and delivers a theater-based installation with thunder, lightning, orchestral immersive sound, and sensors with the aim of provoking thought about the need to care for our world.
- Jawaab – Interactive Gamiﬁed Museum Tour, which assists visits to museums, and which is produced by a team of four: Nouf Alsughier, Nora Almunaif, Reem Alrashoud and Bayan Alarafi. The application is linked to location data and involves augmented reality and gamification to bring a new dimension to studying museums and their collections.
- Story of Science, which is a virtual museum tour involving holograms, virtual reality and multi-speaker immersive sound and is the brainchild of the Saudi creator Abdullah Alarfaj. The project allows the user to walk into a simulated elevator to witness the development of the physical understanding of the universe.
- Wamdah, which gives a virtual journey across time and space in Saudi Arabia, and which is delivered by an eight-person team known as Hakawati. The team are: Abdullah Ba Mashmos, Mohammed Shalabi, Mohammed Molham, Roua Alzahem, Moyaser Tamim, Atheer Minwar, Omar Balfagih and Muneb Younes. The scenario focuses on a man looking for his lost brother in 1970 and is teleported to the far future, where he witnesses the bright future of Saudi Arabia.
Ithra’s Creative Solutions program is part of a series of creative programs and initiatives launched by the Center to support participants in transforming their creative ideas into practical and marketable solutions by engaging them in professional training. Additionally, Ithra will support the selected creative ideas financially to help develop them into viable models, as well as providing the opportunity of presenting ideas to global investors and collaborators.