Global Access has been lucky enough to have Amelia Thiart as our Head of Broadcasting and Creative for the past seven years and we are so proud to announce that she is a finalist in the Inaugural MTN Women in ICT awards within the Innovator Recognition category.
She is being recognized for her work, pioneering the development of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 360 degree filmmaking both within Global Access as well as in South Africa.
This category was created to recognize and reward women, that in the words of the judging criteria ‘have introduced new methods, ideas or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world.’
How has Amelia paved the way and introduced something new to the digital world?
Well, the South African ICT sector is one of the largest and most advanced in Africa and is characterized by technology leadership. Amelia knew South Africa would be missing out if we didn’t branch into AR, VR and 360. By Amelia focusing her team and driving them to the creation of VR apps and AR, VR and 360 content she is pushing her staff, clients as well as her competitors to accept and engage with these new technologies that very soon will be the commonplace. Technology changes rapidly and grows daily. It’s ever evolving. By championing the rise of these technologies and helping customers, who are more educated regarding technology than ever before, communicate and train in an innovative way, Amelia is paving the path that these technologies will become more accepted. Ensuring South Africa won’t be left behind by the rest of the world.
These awards however aren’t just looking at innovation or accomplishments within the ICT sector. They were created to reward women and their role in the growth and development of the Information Communication Technology sector.
When asked what she believes Women’s roles to be in this new sphere within ICT, Amelia said “As technology is normally “a man’s world” it is important that women get involved in all new technologies and services as well as the creation and development of the content. With VR and 360 videos, it’s an experience and women are more adept, have more Emotional Intelligence and so can ensure the content is more personal and evocative. These new technologies need a new kind of developer, creative, animator etc it needs someone who understands peoples’ need for connection and how technology can create this shared experience and for that I truly believe women are the drivers behind this new personal technology.”
Going forward VR, AR and 360 degree content will soon be combined into one new reality called Mixed reality which is an amalgam of all these technologies working together to change people’s experience of places, things and ideas. If the ICT sector doesn’t explore and adapt to these new technologies, just like VHS tapes after DVD’s, our industry will gather dust. These new technologies are attracting a lot of new minds, both male and female. But according to Women In Gaming “VR isn’t just ushering in a technological change. It may also stir social change, bringing new opportunities to female developers, whose scarce representation in the industry nowhere near reflects the true number of female gamers. What we’re seeing in the VR space, the spark of excitement around this particular type of technology that has suddenly become cost-effective and also added creative potential,” Tracy Fullerton, director of USC Games, told International Business Times at the Games for Change festival in New York this year. “I think there’s a tremendous energy and interest. That’s always good because there will be opportunities there, and a broad range of them.” Amelia and Global Access agree wholeheartedly that this change in tech is also a space for change for women and we are excited to see what the future holds.
We are so proud of Amelia and wish her the best of luck on Wednesday the 31st of August 2016.