Startup of the Week: Exploring the reality of a virtual world

Saudi Arabia is making headway in the field of science and technology. (Supplied)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Startup of the Week: Exploring the reality of a virtual world

  • Saudi Arabia is also making headway in the field of science and technology

JEDDAH: Not very long ago, the concept of virtual reality (VR) used to excite us in Hollywood’s sci-fi flicks depicting the human future. Flying cars, holograms and robot workers appeared to be a figment of human imagination.
Who would have thought that within a short span, we would enter an era where such movie stuff would become part of our lives. Lo and behold, there is more to come. I am not sure about flying saucers but passenger drones will soon become a new normal within our lifetime.
Saudi Arabia is also making headway in the field of science and technology. Those who wish to experience VR adventures or play retro arcade games should visit “Teen Town Toys.”
It is a place that offers fun-filled activities for people of all ages. It offers a variety of VR adventures such as horseback riding, car-racing simulators, multiplayer competitive games and much more.
Adults can walk down memory lane in the arcade as it also offers 80s retro arcade games such as Pacman, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario games. The younger generation can also get a taste of the past by exploring these retro gems.
Teen Town Toys was established in June 2018 by Ehab Abdul Raouf Khalil, a successful Saudi businessman in his 40s. He combined his passion for entertainment and technology together and founded the arcade.
“It is equipped with the latest and most advanced gaming experiences in the global market,” Wed Khalid, the CEO of Teen Town Toys, told Arab News.
“Adding his unique taste of humor, he created Afo, Ura, Iska and Kura as characters that engage with our audience and guide them through the different types of VR experiences,” she added.
Each of these characters is classifications for the games, with Afo being exciting VR adventures, Ura being action-packed VR experiences, Iska being extreme kiddie rides and Kura being 80s retro arcade games.
The CEO said their VR games are the first of their kind in the Kingdom. They include Oculus Rift (a gold standard in virtual reality head-mounted displays), HTC Vive (the leading VR headset and controller combo on the market today), Treadmills and Haptic Gloves (this technology serves to further improve the levels of immersion as the user enters the virtual environment).
Some of the games Teen Town Toys provides are as follows:
1. Overtake VR: The elite challenge in VR (car racing).
2. Virtuix Omni Treadmill: Ideal for allowing its user to take the VR experience to another level. They can safely walk, run in 360-degrees, exploring simulated worlds and exercising at the same time.
3. Xtreme: This VR simulator guarantees an outburst of emotions and a rush of adrenaline, she explained.
Their most popular VR games are Overtake and Rifter, as well as space invaders.
“Teen Town Toys promises you experiences, possibilities, worlds that are almost impossible in the real world, you will want to spend the whole day in,” she claimed.
They are located at the King Abdullah intersection with Khalid ibn Al-Waleed Road, in Jeddah. The arcade opens daily from 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Visit their Instagram page (@teentowntoys) for more information.


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.