South Africa's Tshwane municipality has launched the continent’s first interactive digital centre (IDC) in collaboration with EON Reality, a virtual reality based knowledge transfer company
Established at a cost of more than US$6.8mn, the centre features state-of-the-art virtual reality equipment and learning software. The centre will train 50 students every year through a free of cost course on specialised high-tech skills, based on an internship model.
The project was executed in collaboration with the local VR company, the Naledi3d Factory, which has a 17-year working relationship with EON Reality. Dave Lockwood, originally from Naledi3d, is the current centre director of the IDC. The Tshwane centre will form a part of EON Reality's global IDC network.
The main objective of the IDC is to meet a growing need for local relevant VR and augmented reality (AR) content, as well as to train local students to establish their own businesses and enter the labour market. The IDC is a part of the city’s development plan, ‘Tshwane Vision 2055’, which aims to break the cycle of generational poverty, inequality, and underdevelopment and as well as to enhance the local business and investment in the city.
“We are extremely excited to partner with the City of Tshwane and build an IDC in South Africa,” said EON Reality chairman Dan Lejerskar. “We fervently believe that knowledge is a human right and this aligns perfectly with Tshwane’s goal for greater income equality, creating jobs, and improving educational opportunities.”
Dave Lockwood said, “Virtual and augmented reality has huge potential across the whole of Africa, as a way to support, but also to transform how we learn complex subjects, such as vocational skills at college and maths and science at school.”