My name is Chukwuemeka John Okparaeke. I am a 300 level Computer Science student of the University of Ibadan. I am from Anambra State, Nigeria. I am an Android Developer and currently an intern XR developer at Imisi 3D.
Prior Experience of XR
As a student living in the typical Nigeria community , one thing I lacked was exposure to modern technology and this is basically because the whole society also lacks it. The only Extended Reality (XR) technology I knew was Virtual Reality(VR) and the only thing I knew about the technology was the games played with it. Although I never tried it out then, I heard a lot about it.
Even after learning about VR, I did not have much interest in becoming an XR developer. It wasn’t until my second year in the University when I learned about Augmented Reality that I really got interested in XR. This was September 2019.
During that semester we took a Math course called MAT 213 with the course title; Algebra . In the course, our lecturer gave every department that took the course a project to use the mathematical principles taught in the course and the skills learnt from our field of study to create a solution that solves a social problem.
During our group meetings, one of my coursemates suggested we build an Augmented Reality Measurement App. When I heard that I was a bit confused because I had no idea what Augmented Reality was, he then took one of my other coursemate’s phone and showed us a sample Google AR measurement app and this changed everything for me.
We didn’t build the AR app for the MAT project because none of us had the skills to build it. We ended up building a Steganography app that hides secret text inside an image or hides secret image inside another image. Our project came out as the best project for the MAT project.
My journey to Imisi3D
In the University of Ibadan, Computer Science is now five years and because of this we are meant to go for three Industrial Trainings before we graduate. A 3-month IT during 200 Level, another 3 month IT during 300 level and finally 6 month IT during 400 level.
As the session ended for 200 level we were expected to go for IT at any company of our choice within the South West region of Nigeria. Securing a place to commence my IT was a bit difficult for me because it was the first time I am seeking a job in a Company and all the process of application was new to me. The first step I took was to contact people I knew about an IT placement in their company and that plan yielded nothing. The next step I took was to hit Google and search for Software Development companies in Lagos, I took their contact info and then I called each one of them one after the other. For most of them I had no luck, for some they told me to send my CV which I did but they never replied.
After a lot of tries and fails and interviews, I was not able to secure an IT placement. Then it hit me, what if I search for companies in Nigeria that deal with Augmented Reality because at that time I was really into the Augmented Reality tech space, and I wanted to know more and become good at it, also I had an idea of an Augmented Reality project I would like to build. Then I searched AR companies in Lagos and that is how I came to find out about Imisi 3D, and from the article I read about XR in Nigeria it stated that Imisi 3D is the leading XR company in Nigeria and in Africa and that got me motivated to seek internship at the company.
After a lot of calls and interviews, I finally secured my Internship at Imisi 3D, and I knew my experience from here henceforth will change my life for the better.
My Experience at Imisi 3D
My Internship at Imisi 3D started on March 10, 2020. It was my first day and I was completely nervous, not knowing what to expect and what is expected of me in my relationship with others, so I did what I know how to do best, I became conservative and closed up. But everyone was friendly and easy to get along with, they treated me like family, like someone they have known before. Although I am a shy person, I started getting comfortable with everyone as time went by.
My first day and the days that followed it were amazing, they are days that I will never forget for the rest of my life and will serve as a great experience for me as I move forward in Life.
My experience at Jibowu High School in Yaba was a life-changing experience because it was my first time going out on a public testing of a product and also it gave me the opportunity to witness the impact of Extended Reality in our society. This is exactly what I long to achieve as I go through life, being able to build something that will impact the lives of people in my society positively and change the way they do things.
Recently, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus diseases, the whole world has gone into lockdown. Like most companies, Imisi 3D also decided to start working from home as a way to keep the company functioning despite the pandemic. The experience from the outbreak is a bit bittersweet. This is because without going to the office I will be limited in resources like Internet, VR equipment etc and experiences like XR events, press interviews and others can not hold. It also slowed down my learning and exposure. On the other side, I get to be safe and be with my family and work in the comfort of my home and rest properly without stress, but the enjoyment of my home does not outweigh the experience I would have got if everything was normal.
One of the reasons why I came to Imisi 3D was to be good at developing Augmented Reality software and so far I am getting good at it.
The following are the skills I have learnt:
- Software Development in Unity 3D
- C# programming language
- ARCore AR development
- Vuforia AR development
- AR Foundation AR development
- Oculus Virtual Reality development
Coming to Imisi 3D, the only programming languages I could write were Java and Python and the only platform I could build on was Android. With just three months of IT, I have become a more versatile Computer Science student. Now with Unity I can build applications and games for any platform and I have added C# to the list of programming languages I know.
The following are some of the projects I worked on during my stay at Imisi 3D.
I have worked on the following projects
- An AR app that plays video once it detects an Augmented Image or a Marker.
- An AR Portal app that takes a user into a virtual world of either a 3D environment or a 360 film.
- An AR app that makes use of Openpose to track the Human body motion.
- An AR app that makes use of Manomotion to track Human hand gestures so as to enable the users interact with virtual objects using their hands.
An app that integrates Firebase Database into Unity software.
In addition, I also did the following:
- Assisted during the VR Product testing at Jibowo High School.
- Researched and filled in the details of almost all the XR companies in the continent of Africa into a database.
- Came up with Ideas of AR projects to be built by the participants of the AR/VR Africa Hackathon.
These are some of the tasks I did during my internship and the experiences I got from them have refined me as a person.
Working at Imisi3D has been a great experience for me. The culture there is wonderful, everyone there is easy to get along with, everyone respects everyone no matter the position or rank or how long one has been at the company.
I came to Imisi3D to learn AR and I am excited to say that I have achieved that goal. I know that I have a long way to go but I believe that if I keep on working hard and keep on believing I will go places in this XR tech space and maybe someday I will become one of the biggest names in Africa XR tech space and even the world.
I really want to say thank you to Imisi 3D for the opportunity to do my Industrial Training here, it means a lot to me. What I have learned here, I will use it to achieve far greater things in the world, things that will truly impact society and solve the various problems faced by it.
Thank you and I really appreciate being here.