In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, most places are closed for business. There is no telling how this has gravely affected most companies and businesses. Most of them might never be able to re-emerge to their former glory. I have underscored the imperative need to operate online if you are to outlive this lockdown as a business. It is an eventful time we are going through right now. So much hidden knowledge regarding conspiracies, the deep state and what nought is coming to the fore. You need only go online to see what I am talking about. Anyways, in this article, I am going to talk about virtual reality and how a local Zimbabwean is using it to keep the Bulawayo Gallery ‘open’.

Phenomenon Technologies

If you are an ardent follower of my articles you will recall that I once spoke about Phenomenon Technologies. This is a startup founded and owned by a young Zimbabwean called Nkosana Masuku. This is a startup that started its operations in 2019. The central focus of this startup is Virtual Reality. The thrust is simple – create virtual reality experiences that provide people with the platform to explore places and experience applied to learning. Essentially what this means is that, through Virtual Reality, people can visit places that they otherwise would not be able to visit physically. This also means that through Virtual Reality people can have applied learning experiences. Before we get into the Bulawayo Gallery Virtual Tour, let discuss a bit on what Virtual Reality is.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality entails the use of an immaterial computer-generated environment. That environment will be a replica of a material (or physical environment). An assortment of software and hardware is used to come up with such an environment. A virtual reality experience is meant to be wholly immersive in that one would feel like they are experiencing the real thing. Many of you might be familiar with when people wear headsets that look like goggles right? You probably have seen people acting funny or freaking outright? Well, it is because virtual reality is immersive and bridges the gap between an immaterial world and a material one.

Let me hasten to say that virtual reality is not the same as Augmented Reality (AR). Augmented Reality entails superimposing a computer-generated interface onto the physical world in real-time. Let me give an example to make more sense. You probably have seen movies in which a hybrid person or a robot can calculate distances or sizes of things through an interface supposedly in front of their eyes. That is what augmented reality is all about. With that said it is not surprising to find VR and AR being gelled together at once for a particular application.

Applications Of Virtual Reality

There are numerous possible applications of virtual reality. Some of them are real estate, tourism, medical research, academics and so on. Any industry can find suitable applications for virtual reality. Imagine the convenience that it brings by doing away with limitations of distance, time and money amongst other things. Mining students can have an immersive experience of a remote mining site in class without having to physically go there. People can interactively tour a location that is miles away across the world from anywhere in the world – even from the comfort of their homes. The applications are infinite and this is what brings us to the Bulawayo Gallery.

Virtual Tour Of Bulawayo Gallery

This is what the National Gallery of Zimbabwe recently had to say about the Bulawayo Gallery: “As the National Gallery of Zimbabwe @BYOgallery remains closed in light of #COVID19, we are delighted to present you with an updated virtual tour of their running exhibitions. Please follow the link for an immersive educative 360º experience. #Stayhome” This means you can now have a virtual tour of the Bulawayo Gallery from the comfort of your PC or mobile device. You can click here to have a virtual tour.

Just so you know and are wondering why I spoke of Phenomenon Technologies earlier, here is why. This virtual tour was done by DivergentLabs which is a subset of Phenomenon Technologies. This is commendable and many more such virtual tours can be done for many other locations of interest in the country.