Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to find examples of new technologies getting practically applied to the efforts of national governments and international businesses -- but sometimes you just have to know where to look.
Parts of the technology industry are abuzz around terms like “virtual reality,” “augmented reality” and “mixed reality” -- what do these mean and how are they being used?
Some examples come from nations in the Maghreb region, in the north of Africa where state offices and other parties and stakeholders are improving public services with high-tech resources.
For example, a July 28 press release from Irvine, California shows how a company called Eon Reality is developing virtual reality-based systems in accordance with the “H2O Maghreb” project to help make progress in municipal water management in Morocco.
The project is undertaken with the support of stakeholders such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the United States Agency for International Development, and Morocco's State Secretariat for Water and National Office for Water and Electricity.
Leaders enumerate the challenges that H2O Maghreb is intended to address, including lack of employment, few professionals with water management related skill sets, and a general lack of education in the work force locally. One thing that the program will do is promote the teaching of technology-related skills to make the future brighter for residents.
A pilot project looks at sustainable water management processes and how things can change on the ground.
“The work that we’re doing in the developing world to improve knowledge transfer is the most rewarding part of what we’re doing at EON Reality,” Anna Lejerskar, president of EON Learn For Life, said in a press statement. “Water is a precious resource globally, particularly in the more arid regions of the world, and is an important part of economic prosperity and quality of life. By improving the knowledge of water management professionals globally, we hope to improve the quality of life of millions of people and help communities around the world manage the effects of climate change on their water supplies.”
What's the context of this move toward new virtual reality tools? Mahvish Hameed of Proglobal Media had a few words for Maghreb News Wire August 9.
“The year 2016 saw remarkable growth and awareness in the world of Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality.” Hameed said, citing Microsoft estimates of 80 million mixed reality devices on the market by 2020, along with 64.8 million VR headsets.
“However, there’s still a common question that lingers among consumers and businesses trying to understand this fast-moving digital phenomenon that is rapidly evolving,” Hameed said. “What’s the difference between them, and how will it impact the digital world as we currently know it?”
As a resource, Hameed mentioned a Microsoft “Explanamator” video series that reveals more about both virtual and augmented reality, and how both are used around the world.