Dream big, youths told

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PENANG Youth Development Corporation (PYDC) successfully hosted the Grand Finale of the Augmented Reality Competition: Shaping Your AR Realm today with 10 finalists showcasing their creativity and skills.


Its general manager Dr Gwee Sai Ling offered valuable advice to the finalists and all participants.  She said: “Remember that today’s accomplishment is just the beginning. Continue to dream big, push boundaries, and explore the vast possibilities that the digital world offers.


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The top five winners posing with Gooi (fifth from left), Dr Gwee (fourth from left) and other distinguished guests.


“As we celebrate the Grand Finale, let us look forward to the promising future that these young minds are poised to create.”


She said the competition has brought her immense joy and pride to witness the culmination of months of dedication, innovation, and hard work displayed by the participants.


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Dr Gwee says PYDC remains steadfast in nurturing and empowering the younger generation.


This year’s programme was the third series under the Penang Young Digital Talent (PYDT) launched by PYDC in 2020 to be a catalyst for innovation and skill development among the youth.


Starting with the Web Design Competition in 2021, followed by the immersive Game Development Competition in 2022-2023 and now the Augmented Reality Program in 2023-24, PYDT has been instrumental in fostering digital talent.


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Three participants from Team Drunk Kitchen doing their presentation on ‘Virtual Fitting Room.’


Dr Gwee said this year’s programme commenced with an insightful workshop in September last year, drawing the participation of nearly 360 eager minds. The subsequent registration phase in October was met with enthusiasm, leading to the selection of the top 10 teams who have demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication.


She expressed her gratitude to PYDC’s sponsors, including Hainan Vocational University of Science  & Technology, Pacific Future Limited, VirtualTech Frontier and Ateneum Resources, along with collaborators and partners.


She reiterated that PYDC remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the youth, particularly in Penang. As an organisation dedicated to nurturing talents and empowering the younger generation, PYDC recognises the importance of providing ongoing support and opportunities for growth.


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Gooi (sixth from left) and Dr Gwee (fifth from left), in a group photo with other dignitaries and judges.


State Youth, Sports and Health Committee chairman Daniel Gooi Zi Sen, who was also present for the closing ceremony, said the projects on display not only showcased the technical skills of the youth but also reflected their creativity and ability to think outside the box.


“Augmented reality, with its potential to transform various sectors, is a fitting canvas for our young minds to express their ingenuity.


“As the state launched its first Augmented Reality park in Armenian Park last February, initiatives like PYDT play a crucial role in preparing our youth for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.


“The mentoring sessions, project submissions, and evaluations are not just components of a competition, but they also represent a holistic approach to nurturing the next generation of innovators and tech leaders,” Gooi said in his speech.


He also encouraged the participants to continue exploring the limitless possibilities that technology offers.


Among those present at the ceremony were Henry Tye, the chief executive officer and founder of Big Domain; Ma Liyao, assistant vice chancellor of Hanian Vocational University of Science & Technology; Harry Chai Heng Hua, the Penang State Sports Council (MSNPP) director; Ng Kwan Ming, the chief executive officer of Digital Penang Sdn Bhd; Associate Professor Dr Yeap Gik Hong, Head of Operations (Batu Kawan Campus) and Head of School of Engineering, Computing & Built Environment, UOW Malaysia KDU University College; and Richard Chung, general manager of Penang STEM.


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A member of Beyond Reality lifting the trophy after receiving it from Gooi (sixth from left) at the prize giving.


During the competition, each finalist had eight minutes for presentation, followed by a five-minute Q&A session. The judging panel comprised Prof Dr Edmund Ng Giap Weng, Jong Tze Kian, Dr Rehman Ullah Khan, Dr Nornazlita Hussin and Gary Lee.


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The judges asking the finalists questions during the Q&A session.

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The team ‘Beyond Reality’ emerged as the champions, followed by Architects, Monday Blue, Martial Arts, Utarmon, Aurora, Drunk Kitchen, IPK, Multiverse and Telur Ayam.


A total of RM10,800 cash prizes were given out, with the top three winners receiving RM3,000, RM2,200 and RM1,800 respectively. In addition, they received an Augmented Reality AM Class by Pacific Future (worth RM10,000), and a one-year subscription to a Mitoworld Platform by VTF (worth RM5,000) each.


Story by K.H. Ong

Pix courtesy of Penang Youth Development Corporation