Indigenous youth get involved in marketable tech innovation production
By Natasha Jacha
Mobile telecommunication firm MTC have partnered with Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in unique augmented technology driven project.
The project aims at promoting local socio-cultural, socio-economic and inequality reduction via inclusive and sustainable national innovation system among the San community
According to Professor Winschiers Heike, the project team comprised 15 urban-based San youth whose objective is to produce accessories and fridge magnets with augmented reality audio and video features, depicting their cultural heritage, songs and scripts of their choices
The first of these prototypes were demonstrated at the launch of the Tech Hub, showing relatively easy realization of market ready products.
MTC’s Sponsorship and Promotions Manager, Joseph Mundjindi said, “it is really remarkable and commendable that the youth of the marginalized community is stepping up to practically contribute to technological innovations.
“We learnt that the San participants in the project did not own smartphones, thus cannot provide audio and video productions for their augmented reality application nor test and validate the applications in real-life settings or demonstrate the technology to fellow San in order to increase the product range or to potential clients,” he added.
According to Mundjindi as a supporting move to encourage technology based inventions, the company donated smartphones to the group, and believe that it will in effect facilitate the innovation process and aid in testing their application (s).
“A tourist market study has shown great potential, with numerous possible feature extensions for future developments, which we are exploring simultaneously. Simultaneously, a group of San has developed their own personal augmented reality accessories to enhance their well-being through the display of selected media depending on their current state,” said Prof. Heike
Meanwhile, this project is the first of its kind where indigenous youth has been involved in marketable tech innovation production.