Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Meta, in collaboration with Coders HQ and the Museum of the Future, has announced today the launch of the first global Spark AR Challenge under the theme of “Tomorrow Today - What will the next decade bring? The challenge will encourage creators to visualize the impact of technology and innovation on future lifestyles, mobility, work and communication, by designing augmented reality effects using the latest Spark AR capabilities.
Through the Spark AR challenge, which is launching for the first time in the middle east from May 23, and running until June 17, 2022, Meta, Coders HQ and the Museum of the Future are calling upon the global community of creators and developers to showcase their creativity and innovation for the future. Participants will be challenged to use augmented reality to identify how modern technologies will improve wellbeing across various vital sectors.
Commenting on the launch of the challenge, His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, confirmed that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopts Artificial Intelligence solutions, modern technology and software to enhance its readiness for the future and explore new opportunities to shape a better future.
“The global Spark AR Challenge that has been organized for the first time in Middle East, keeps pace with the rapid developments in the sectors that are related to human life and driven by modern technology, data and digital solutions. It contributes to simulating innovation, finding viable proactive solutions, and continuous improvement to build a digital economy based on knowledge and innovation”, Al Olama said.
Speaking about the initiative, Fares Akkad, Regional Director for MENA, Meta, said: “We are very excited to launch the first Global Spark AR Challenge hubbed out of the Middle East. With this global Spark AR challenge, we want to bring this diverse community together to envision the future, while also showcasing the value that AR could bring to communities.”
Talking about the developer community, he added: “As Meta builds for the metaverse, the developer and creator community will play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the physical, augmented and virtual worlds. Through the challenge, creators across the world will be among the first to experience the transformative potential of the metaverse.”
The Spark AR challenge comes as a result of the constructive cooperation between Meta and Coders HQ, which aims to empower programmers with a variety of digital skills and train them to use programming languages in line with national efforts to empower them and support their participation in the digital transformation of the UAE.
Two key tracks by strategic partners, Emirates Airline and Accenture, will shape the challenge. Whereas participants will be tasked to create AR effects around the ‘Mobility of Tomorrow’ for Emirates Airline and the ‘Opportunities of the Future’ for Accenture. ‘
Winners will get the chance to have their winning effects featured on Emirates Airline’s and Accenture’s social media pages. In addition, participants will get the chance to win cash prizes amounting to over $50,000.
Meta is also offering participants the chance to brush up on their skills in workshops with two of the top AR developers: Kym Fiala, a Spark AR network partner and the co-founder of Pixel Chefs, a digital agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Balraj Bains, a creative designer, project manager and freelance AR Creator based in London, UK, and just before the contest ends, a live Q&A with AR Creators.
You can watch the recorded versions on the Challenge website. Kym will explain his process of creating a World AR Effect as well as Balraj will explain how she, together with Gijsbert Woulter Wahl and Beth Wickerson created their Hand & Body Tracking effect. Lenslist also will host an Office Hours providing Q&A and fun Games with AR expert Creators.
For more information or to register for the global Spark AR Challenge, visit: https://sparkar.lenslist.co/
The UAE government has launched Coders HQ as part of the National Program for Coders in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance creative competition between programming communities, enhance their capabilities and skills, and provide global opportunities to design innovative solutions and create the best generation of programmers.