World's first vir­tual re­al­ity book fest in Shar­jah

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

SHAR­JAH: Chil­dren in the UAE are set to en­ter a fun new age of read­ing with the launch of the world's first vir­tual re­al­ity book. It's made avail­able in Ara­bic and English by the Shar­jah Book Au­thor­ity (SBA) as part of its cam­paign to pro­mote the eighth edi­tion of the Shar­jah Chil­dren's Read­ing Festival (SCRF), which will take place from April 20 to 30, 2016 at Expo Cen­tre Shar­jah.

The au­thor­ity chose the ti­tle 'Baba Zayed' - a pub­li­ca­tion from Kal­i­mat pub­lish­ing house - as the first book to be used by vir­tual re­al­ity tech­nol­ogy. The book en­ables chil­dren to learn a brief bi­og­ra­phy of the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan, who is renowned as be­ing not just a po­lit­i­cal leader, but a for­ward-think­ing vi­sion­ary. The book was specif­i­cally se­lected by the SBA to en­hance the na­tional iden­tity among chil­dren in the UAE.

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chair­man of SBA, said: "At the Shar­jah Book Au­thor­ity, we strive to make the best use of tech­nol­ogy to en­hance cul­ture and knowl­edge, es­pe­cially in its ap­pli­ca­tion to chil­dren's lit­er­a­ture. With the launch of the dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tion Baba Zayed, we are seek­ing to utilise the lat­est devel­op­ment in ex­pand­ing knowl­edge. This tech­nol­ogy has been avail­able in world mar­kets for some time, but its uses up un­til now have been lim­ited to dig­i­tal games and films. This book will be the first of its kind in the world that uses the 3D VR Glasses to en­able chil­dren to read and at the same time en­joy 360-de­gree in­ter­ac­tion with the story."

The launch of the vir­tual re­al­ity Baba Zayed, which en­cour­ages chil­dren to en­gage with its events and be in­flu­enced by its char­ac­ters di­rectly, aims to at­tract chil­dren and en­cour­age them to read by tak­ing ad­van­tage of their pas­sion for tech­nol­ogy and its lat­est de­vel­op­ments. The new of­fer­ing is in line with SBA's lit­er­ary ini­tia­tives that in­volve a range of in­spir­ing and in­no­va­tive ideas to in­crease chil­dren's in­ter­ac­tion with books and in­still a love of read­ing, as well as help fa­cil­i­tate SCRF 2016 as an in­ter­ac­tive plat­form that com­bines learn­ing, fun and ac­tiv­ity.

The au­thor­ity be­gan its pro­mo­tional cam­paign for the vir­tual re­al­ity book at KidZa­nia in The Dubai Mall through in­ter­ac­tive plat­forms that in­cluded VR head­sets that down­loaded the elec­tronic in­ter­ac­tive ver­sion of Baba Zayed in Ara­bic and English. Al Ameri added; "The use of dig­i­tal vir­tual tech­nol­ogy in books is one of the cre­ative ideas that ex­em­pli­fies the vision of His High­ness Dr Shaikh Sul­tan bin Mo­hammed Al Qasimi, Mem­ber of the Supreme Coun­cil and Ruler of Shar­jah, for the im­por­tance of nur­tur­ing chil­dren's minds with knowl­edge and in­tel­lect.

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