DHAHRAN: The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) announced the five finalists for its new Creative Solutions program. The projects will develop their ideas, which share the theme “Digital Immersive Content Creation,” with a view to turning them into marketable products.
The program was launched on Feb. 23, 2021 and is designed to build an network of innovators supporting the growth of the creative economy in the Kingdom.
Creative Solutions focuses on the use of immersive technologies including artificial intelligence, haptics, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and immersive audio.
The five programs were chosen from the 26 teams in the initial refining and presentation phase. These participants, many of them young Saudis who work in the creative and high-tech industries, spent several weeks at a series of master classes, technical workshops and networking events designed to help them 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 develop each project and each creative.
There will then be more than three months of intensive support to turn each project into a marketable product.
This phase also entails financial support of up to SR75,000 ($20,000) per project, with the overall Creative Solutions winner to be announced on December 16.
The first of the five selected projects is Alqatt XR, which features the traditional Al-Qatt art from southern Saudi Arabia. The project is being delivered by a team of four: Areej Alwabil, Haifa Al-Hababi, Layla Al-Babtain and Abdullah Moshantat. The project is dedicated to documenting, and preserving the Saudi cultural and natural heritage. It uses digital visualization, 3D virtualization, geospatial informatics and open access solutions to provide digital data and 3D models to regional institutions, museums, local scholars and the public.
The second is Anticipation of Rain, which is a mixed reality experience based on the sensations which comes from heavy rainstorms. The solo project by the artist Naima Karim, who comes from Bangladesh and lives in Saudi Arabia, 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 the world.
The third project is Jawaab — Interactive Gamiﬁed Museum Tour — which assists visits to museums. It is produced by a team of four: Nouf Al-Sughier, Nora Al-Munaif, Reem Al-Rashoud and Bayan Al-Arafi. The application is linked to location data and involves augmented reality and gamification to bring a new dimension to studying museums and their collections.
The fourth is Story of Science, a virtual museum tour involving holograms, virtual reality and multi-speaker immersive sound. It is the brainchild of the Saudi creator Abdullah Al-Arfaj.
The project allows the user to walk into a simulated elevator to witness the development of the physical understanding of the universe.
The final project is Wamdah, which gives a virtual journey across time and space in Saudi Arabia and is delivered by an eight-person team known as Hakawati. The team consists of Abdullah Ba Mashmos, Mohammed Shalabi, Mohammed Molham, Roua Al-Zahem, Moyaser Tamim, Atheer Minwar, Omar Balfagih and Muneb Younes. The scenario focuses on a man who is looking for his lost brother in 1970 and is teleported to the far future, where he witnesses the bright future of the Kingdom.
Ithra’s Creative Solutions program is part of a series of creative programs and initiatives launched by the Center to support participants in turning creative ideas into marketable solutions by engaging them in professional training.
Additionally, Ithra will support the selected projects financially to help to develop them into viable models, as well as providing the chance to present their ideas to global investors and collaborators.