KOCHI: In a push to further the augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) ecosystem in the state, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has joined hands with US-based Unity Technologies to launch a Centre of Excellence for AR/VR and gaming. The Centre will come up in the newly-inaugurated Integrated Startup Complex, Kalamassery.
An MoU in this regard was signed by KSUM CEO Saji Gopinath and the Asia Pacific (APAC) head of Unity Education and Centre of Excellence Initiatives Anumukonda Ramesh in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on the sidelines of the inauguration of India’s largest integrated startup complex the other day. Hubert Larenaudie, Vice President-Asia Pacific of Unity Technologies, was also present.
Through the Centre of Excellence, Unity Technologies will extend support to startups developing products, services and games on platforms, including mobile, PC and various AR/VR hardware. The Centre will also have a special focus on providing different levels of training on AR/VR developer tools to students and professionals in the state.
“The AR/VR market is expected to witness a huge growth globally in the next five-six years. This growth in demand for AR/VR content and solutions will be accompanied by the sprouting of a new set of businesses. The Centre of Excellence for AR/VR Developer tools with Unity Technologies is a step taken by state government towards creating an ecosystem for new businesses to grow and cater to global demand,” said M Sivasankar, secretary, state Department of IT and Electronics.
He said ICT Academy of Kerala and C-DIT have an important role to play in the creation of this ecosystem in Kerala.“Unity is at the centre of the AR/VR ecosystem, powering more than 60 per cent of all content. We see this industry growing significantly over the next few years,” said Larenaudie.
Gopinath said KSUM is committed to creating an enabling ecosystem for young ventures working on emerging technologies. “This emerging industry will create new jobs that require new sets of skills. We will work with ICT Academy of Kerala for instilling skills in students and professionals on the design and development tools,” he said.
Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala, said: “In the Industry 4.0 world, AR/VR is a vital technology that has applications in multiple domains. Youth with skills and competencies in AR/VR will have a unique advantage in future job market.” KSUM is the nodal agency of the state government for technical entrepreneurship.