Monday 20 March 2023 - 12:59:49 pm

Meta brings global Spark AR Challenge to Middle East for first time

DUBAI, 24th May, 2022 (WAM) -- Meta, in collaboration with Coders HQ and the Museum of the Future, today announced the launch of the first global Spark AR Hackathon Challenge under the theme of "Tomorrow Today - What will the next decade bring?".

The challenge, which will take place until 17th June, will encourage creators to visualise 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 Hackathon challenge, 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 well-being across various vital sectors.

Commenting on the launch of the challenge, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, said that the UAE government, led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister 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 organised for the first time in the Middle East keeps pace with the rapid developments in the sectors related to human life and driven by modern technology, data, and digital solutions. It contributes to stimulating 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, "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 worldwide 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 challenge tracks by strategic partners, Emirates Airline and Accenture, will shape the hackathon. 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.

The UAE government has launched Coders HQ as part of the National Programme for Coders in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid 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.


WAM/Rola Alghoul/Esraa Ismail