Bloem talent ropes in innovation award

During the MTN Business App or the Year Awards held in Sandton were from the left Sne Dladla, comedian and MC for the evening; winning app developer, Mbangiso Mabaso from SI Realities; Zane Oostendorp, Group Account Manager for MTN, Idemia, and Kholofelo Magagane from MTN.

An app, which allows users to perform experiments in a virtual science lab that only exists on a smart device, has brought great accolades for a self-taught developer from Botshabelo.
Mbangiso Mabaso has snatched the Best Innovative Solution Award away from several participants during the MTN Business App or the Year Awards held in Sandton recently.
According to the organisers, the app, called SI Realities, uses augmented reality to teach science to learners without real-life science labs. Users first scan a small cube with a device’s camera.
“The app overlays the cube with virtual science apparatus or experiments on the screen. Move the cube – and the virtual equipment moves as well. SI Realities is changing how students learn science using virtual reality to teach real-life lessons.”
Mbangiso said the public school he attended never had a science laboratory, so it the was very difficult to imagine science without a lab.
“My nephew is now at the same school, and I wanted to create a tool that would help him to learn. It all started as a mobile game and pivoted to become a virtual science lab. It means a lot to be recognised for solving our circumstances. Clearly the future will be much better and accessible for all learners,” he said.
Alexander Georgiev, Senior Vice-President of mobile operators Idemia, sponsor of the award, congratulated Mbangiso and SI Realities on the achievement. “Mbangiso’s app demonstrates the potential mobile technology holds for expanding education resources to even more learners within the country.”
The company said these awards play a vital role in elevating local entrepreneurs and showcasing exciting new innovations within the ICT industry in South Africa, providing a platform that celebrates local talent, rewards out-of-the-box thinking and continues to enable new technology start-ups to build innovative applications. – Pieter Delport