Meta Hosts XR Expo and Announces Future Africa Grant Winners – THISDAYLIVE


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As part of its Extended Reality (XR) programs and investment in researching XR talent across Africa, Meta recently presented an exclusive XR exhibit featuring the six finalists of the “Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds”.
Developed in partnership with Africa No Filter, Electric South and Imisi 3D, the exhibition aims to support the next generation of XR creators in Africa.
With a focus on owning and changing the African narrative while telling compelling, contemporary and immersive African stories, the finalists have developed a range of immersive digital experiences rooted in African culture through various media formats, including including 360 video, AR/VR and mixed reality.

Sherry Dzinoreva, Director of Meta’s Public Policy Programs for Africa, the Middle East and Turkey, said: “In the next phase of this program, we are delighted to unveil this specially curated exhibition showcasing the work of six talented creators from across the continent. , all of whom have created beautiful, engaging African stories and experiences using immersive technology. We know that Africa harbors immense talent, which we see reflected in curated experiences, and as we look to the metaverse, we believe that creators, especially those on the continent, will play a key role in unleashing its potential.
Creators featured at the event included Malik Afegbua’s “Moving Between”, a 360-degree documentary that presents a virtual heritage experience of the Kofar-Mata Dye Pit, a cultural and historical site in Kano, Nigeria, in presenting it in a virtual three-dimensional environment. model of reality.

Others were Xabiso Vili (writer, performer and new media artist, Xabiso’s “Black Boi meet Boogeyman” is a multipurpose “choose your adventure” style 360 ​​visual album); Dylan Valley, South Africa (Dylan’s Cissie Gool House is a 360-degree documentary about precarious housing tenure in a new hospital in Cape Town); Nirma Madhoo (fashion director, XR creator and PhD student. Nirma’s ‘XWE’, a 360 fashion film using volumetric capture and photogrammetry, is a tribute to the original Southern African astronomers); Pierre-Christophe Gam (Pierre is a multimedia artist who worked on ‘TOGUNA’, a hybrid art installation (live and online), merging AR/VR, film, photography, multimedia sculpture, future thinking and storytelling) ; and Michelle Angawa (film editor and XR creator, Michelle’s ‘1000 Shillings in Nairobi’, a 360-degree fiction film, is a short tragicomedy depicting a day in the life of a Nairobian Boda pilot).

Gadget Experience Center, Apple Yard, launches in Lagos
Apple Yard, the very first one-stop gadget experience center that provides services including sales, maintenance, phone trade-in, etc., has been launched in Lagos.
The gadget experience center, created by Nigeria-based contemporary design firm 88 Homewares, was modeled after the Apple Store in London’s Regent Street and promised to deliver similar world-class experiences and services. to customers.

Speaking at the store launch, 88 Homewares CEO Mr. Ebuka Arinze expressed his delight at the flagship store.
“What we have created with Apple Yard is to provide our customers with an unparalleled experience anywhere in Nigeria. We have deliberately modeled this location on the Apple Store to show our commitment to providing customers with only the best gadgets, services and prices. they can find in Nigeria,” Arinze said. “We also wanted to give them a taste of what it would be like to visit an Apple Store if there was one in Nigeria.”

The center is now fully open for business with a diverse range of sophisticated and unique gadgets including the new series of iPhones (12,13,14 and 14 pro max), Apple Watches (all series including the Ultra just released), Meta Quest, speakers and other accessories and gadgets available for purchase.
Apple Yard is located at 12 Admiralty Way, Lekki, Lagos. Attending the launch were business and technology executives, celebrities and influencers from various industries.

Startup Healthtech, Nguvu Health Partners AXA Mansard
Nguvu Health, an online on-demand therapy platform and AXA Mansard have collaborated to provide affordable mental health care to Africans in the diaspora and at home.
The partnership enables the companies to stay true to their shared vision of improving access to healthcare, including mental health.
The two-year agreement unites the health-tech start-up’s connections to teletherapy services and AXA Mansard’s connections to thousands of users seeking appropriate health coverage.
The partnership’s B2B add-ons include quarterly discounted wellness sessions and a mental health audit for corporate clients and AXA Mansard stakeholders. The B2C arm of the partnership not only focuses on offering discounts to users looking for different types of therapy, but also spends 15% on couples therapy and support group therapy.

Speaking on behalf of Nguvu Health, co-founder and CMO, Juliet Odumosu, said, “This partnership is a great win for the health sector as it will explore the drivers and impact of mental health issues in society. inclusively. This will happen by exploring practices that help users, individuals and businesses, both slow down and speed up in complementary ways to help shift the paradigm from stress and survival to excitement and vitality.
Policyholders and policyholders of AXA Mansard will now be able to access therapists and other wellness solutions provided by Nguvu Health.

Apple fined $19 million for selling iPhones without charger
Apple was reportedly fined $19 million for not including chargers in new iPhones sold.
Brazil’s Civil Court in Sao Paulo has ordered that new iPhones sold in the country come with battery chargers included in the box.
The fine stems from Apple appealing a Brazilian order barring it from selling iPhones without chargers in September, despite the Brazilian justice ministry initially fining it $2.38 million, Reuters reported at the time. Apple argued that it did not include chargers to reduce carbon emissions.

Apple started not including headphones and power adapters with the release of the iPhone 12 in 2020 – except in France, where it has to comply with radiation laws to reduce waste and move towards a supply chain. carbon neutral supply.
However, this is not a final decision and may be subject to further appeal.
In a similar vein, EU lawmakers recently approved a new directive requiring manufacturers to offer USB-C as a common charging port on a wide range of devices by 2024. This will require Apple to switch to USB-C chargers for its next iPhones.

Crypto Investment Pillow App Raises $18M, Plans to Expand into Nigeria
Crypto investment platform Pillow has raised $18 million in Series A funding co-led by Accel, Quona Capital, Elevation Capital and Jump Capital. Elevation Capital was also the first seed investor in Pillow, having led the round in 2021.
Singapore-based firm Pillow said it plans to use the funds to expand and do even more to elevate the personal finance journey for people in emerging markets such as Africa and South Asia. South East.

The app creates simple, transparent, and accessible products including crypto investing, crypto savings, crypto payments, and other financial services.
The Pillow app allows users to invest and save in dollar-backed stablecoins and several top cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others.
Since the start of 2022, the company claims to have grown its user base by three hundred percent, with assets under management growing fivefold. Additionally, the startup has expanded into Nigeria, Ghana, and Vietnam, among other emerging markets.

Tech personality of the week:

Adeola Alli

This week’s tech personality is OneHealthng Founder and CEO, Adeola Alli.
OneHealthng is an online pharmacy and healthcare platform providing access to medicines and healthcare solutions for individuals and healthcare providers.
As a licensed pharmacist in the UK and USA, Adeola started OneHealthng in Nigeria when she realized it was difficult to buy specialist medicines in the country for her child.

Adeola has leveraged technology to deliver the right medicines at the right time to the right hand, using curated and analyzed data, and partners with different health service providers to deliver relevant health solutions to people. So far, it has helped at least 8,000 people access drug insurance from a network of over 1,000 pharmacies across Nigeria’s thirty-six states.
She has over 15 years of pharmaceutical and commercial experience. She was recently recognized by Google for Startups Accelerator Africa and was one of the recipients of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund. She participated in the Microsoft Accelerator program and spoke at the Africa Digital Health Summit and the Cyber ​​Peace Institute’s Cyber ​​for Health Care conference.

She and Onehealthng were part of Nigeria’s first digital startup accelerator program organized by Forbes and powered by the Global Startup Ecosystem 2020. She was also a Startup Lab finalist for the Global Health Summit in 2020 and a speaker at Ehingbeti Lagos EconomicSummit 2021.
She is enthusiastic about solving health problems across Africa, especially one she has experienced firsthand – access to specialist medicines.


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