Virtual reality techniques enable users to visualise data

Posted on February 11, 2024

Ayla Inggs, a master’s degree student in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology’s Department of Information Science, is passionate about data. She imagines a future world where everyone will have a virtual reality (VR) headset that will enable them to gain access to complex data, which will make their lives easier.

Her honours project for her degree in Multimedia, conducted in partnership with another student, Andrea Blignaut, entailed the use of a digital twin to enable car manufacturers to visualise the complex data in car components by means of a VR representation. This enables experts in the automotive industry to communicate about the data as it becomes more easily understood. For this project, she worked with an international leader in the automotive industry, who was very impressed with her work. She will be working with them on another project this year.

The industry experience she gained through this project showed her the options available for women in information technology, even in the automotive industry. She can see herself working as a project manager in a field in which she can apply virtual or augmented reality, as it combines technology with creativity. This combination of technology and design is also what prompted her to enrol for a degree in Multimedia.

She originally chose to study at the University of Pretoria because it was close to home, but once she was there, she realised she couldn’t have made a better decision. “There are so many opportunities, and it has top-notch facilities. There is always new technology to experiment with, and the staff are very knowledgeable and passionate about their field.”

She would recommend studies in Multimedia to anyone interested in combining their creative talents with their technical skills. She is passionate about getting more women involved in careers in technology. Even though it is a field that is still dominated by men, she believes that women can bring a unique skill set to the field, particularly in more client-focused domains.

Ayla is currently working as an assistant lecturer in the Department of Information Science’s Multimedia programme. She believes that women have an important role to play in science. She recognises that she can contribute to attracting more women to the field by acting as a role model. “Women have always done amazing things. They have the ability to break through barriers, and also have a responsibility to do so.”

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