In 2021, I wrote an article about the growth of eXtended Reality (XR) in Africa. One of the initiatives that I highlighted as having contributed to the growth of XR on the continent was the AR/VR Africa Hackathon. This hackathon is organised by Imisi 3D alongside a couple of country partners. BlackRhino VR is usually the Kenyan country partner.

BlackRhino VR is an award-winning Kenyan based XR agency located in Nairobi. They specialize in creating virtual & augmented reality content and solutions that are adaptable and relevant to the African market with a global appeal.

On the 8th of February 2022, Brian Afande the co-founder and managing director of BlackRhino VR announced the name of their new XR lab and exhibition space OUT Reality. OUT Reality is a space where artists and developers go to explore the synergies between art and technology.

The space and lab were conceived with a vision to democratize access to XR infrastructure. The following is a quick deep dive into what the OUT Reality space and lab entails:

  • The Space

The OUT Reality Space is a platform for artists and art lovers to access technology and exhibit new media and digital artwork.

The space exhibits new work by emerging and established artists and provides both educational programmes and a forum for critical engagement relating to working across multimedia and XR.

  • The Lab

The OUT Reality Lab is a space for artistic exploration at the intersection of art and technology blending XR technologies with visual artforms.

The lab aims at creating a space that promotes interdisciplinary experimental collaboration between artists and developers to create immersive digital experiences.

Brian finished the announcement with an invitation to the lab when people visit Kenya and or come to Nairobi.

The mission of BlackRhino VR as a company is:

  • To design, democratize, demystify and deploy XR and new emerging technologies in Africa.
  • To change perceptions and behaviour through XR.
  • To equip the African youth to be the XR Innovators, Inventors and Storytellers of the future.
  • To change the visual narrative of how stories are told in Africa.

It is inspiring to see how BlackRhino is actualizing its goals and doing its part to continue to grow the XR development space in Africa. I look forward to seeing the numerous innovations and immersive stories that this new initiative will give birth to.